GATHERED FROM LIFE
Prophetic of Another Life.
By AELLA GREENE,
Author of "John Peters."
v**' ■ "'^rf .
Published in 1893.
Jl/fVF & 1893
Clark JV. Brya?i Company,
Printers, F.lectrotypers and Binders,
In Remembrance of
Friendships whose Shining has Dispelled
the Darkness of many a
Wave and Bird, 8
Stanza and Sequel, 13-101
The Bright Belief, 102
Earth's Brightest Star, 105
" Bright on Your Native Hills," 106
" She Placed the Bitter-sweet," 108
Always with Thee, no
Through Grief, in
" Too Many Hearts are Sad To-night," 113
Blessings for the Helpful, " . 114
The Forty-second, 115
The Critics, 117
The Retort, 118
My Native Land, 144
The Sweetheart, 146
For All Like Thee, 147
"The Stars Have Heard," ....... 148
"Come, Happy Bird," 148
" Prize Thou Thyself," 150
A Tribute, 153
Into the Sunshine, ......... 155
The Conflict, 157-167
Thy Best Delight, . 168-169
Thee and Thine, 17°
William Williams, ' . . . . 17 1
The Imperial, 172
The Lesson of the Seasons, . . . . . . i73 _I 75
The Equal Lot, 175
Sic Itur ad Astra, 177
An Urban Heaven, 180
A Hero's Grave, • g^ lSl
A Starlit Road, 182
" Where tnc Noble have their Country," .... 183
The Warrior, 186
"Thou art the Man," 188
Nature's Moods, 189
" Where Nature Reigns," 19 2
A Rose, 200
Her Promise, 202
• CONTENTS. 3
Trial Days, 203
That other Day and This, 205
Zephy^; f 209
Nectar, . 211
Heart of Ice, 213
A Wish, 214
In Ambush, 215
Tommy Trim, 217
Uncharity, t 218
" Joy Sings Serenely,'' 221
Thy Benisons, 221
Thou Shalt Discern, 222
By Warring Well, • 223
OTHOU benignant, ever wise,
Since unto man 'tis given
That he fare on, if kind the skies
Or unpropitious Heaven,
What joy that he may trust Thee still,
Through calm or stormy tide,
Conscious that winds obey Thy will,
And Thou art pledged to guide
The barque that every mortal sails
Across the sea of time —
That no one trusts in Thee and fails
Of port in happiest clime
Of that great continent where those
Who sail shall landsmen be
Awhile, and thence shall course — who knows
The great untraversed sea ?
But dream we even now and here,
Entranced by plash of waves
Which lapse this side the heavenly sphere,
That lovelier ocean laves
The other coast of that Unknown
Than even he beheld
To whom at Patmos things were shown
That charmed the days of Eld.
From earth that ocean is how far ?
What barque that thither fares ?
What islands in that ocean are ?
Swept by what balmy airs ?
What groves of fair pomegranates bless
With exhalations sweet ?
What warblers with their gladsomeness
The island mornings gieet,
As navies of the shining main
Are wafted with the song
And harpers of sublimest strain
The rapturous theme prolong !
O beatific vision bright
Of islands of that sea !
O day when faith shall change to sight
And bring us there to be !
And from those islands mountains rise
Wherefrom whose lenses sweep
Still other continent descries
And lovelier, vaster deep,
With sweeter isles to gem the scene
And, still beyond, a coast,
A brighter sea to intervene ;
And, with those waters crossed,
Increasing still, the endless plan
Of continents and seas — ■
\nd given for this quest of man
The vast eternities !
WAVE AND BIRD.
TO those indued with power to see,
And given an ear for minstrelsy,
There's meaning high in every sound
And every scene the wide earth round.
The music of this lakelet's wave,
That seems to some but meant to lave
The shore, recede and surge again,
Thought-freighted comes to thoughtful men,
And, blending with the voice of bird
In hymn as grand as ear hath heard,
Shall cheer the pilgrim on his way,
Inspiring him with faith to say —
Night bringeth day, grief bringeth bliss •
And never that, but cometh this!
So, welcome grief in every form —
The piercing blast, the whelming storm.
Affliction's flail and busy mill,
Its thorny path up rugged hill.
Or desert sands to scorch the feet,
Where torrid suns their fervors beat,
WAVE AND BIRD.
Or barren, bleak and sunless plains,
Where Doubt's grim winter monarch reigns !
Though well enthroned, that icy king
Shall flee before Faith's radiant spring
Of bud, and brook, and heavenly blue,
And stars serene the sweet nights through-
And fragrant hours of morn, to lead,
Through flowery path, to pleasant mead
And hills of hope, where Edens are
Without a flaming sword to bar ;
The hills whereon, from dawn to star,
And from the star to dawn again,
Angels descend to bring to men
The sweetest message of the skies —
Faith always true ; Doubt always lies !
Sing on, sweet bird, and lakelet sing,
Through all the joyous days of spring ;
And when shall glow the summer days
With their intensity of praise
For roses and the wheaten sheaf,
And sign of corn and flaming leaf,
IO WAVE AND BIRD,
. Then, for its seen and unseen worth,
Sing praise to Him who made the earth,
And in the time of frost and snows,
When fierce the wrath of winter blows,
Love's group around his cheerful fires
Will sing the song that hope inspires,
Whilst thou, sweet bird, in sunnier clime,
Shalt sing, prophetic of the time
When flowers and grasses shall again
Delight each northern glade and glen,
And waters of the lake and burn
Announce, blithe bird, thy glad return
But they who think, by power of song
To urge the winter days along,
Will find, however brave they sing,
That Winter in his time is king.
Yet, dulcet one, they can defy
His fiercest wrath and coldest sky ;
For, if some pilgrim needing rest,
Should pray awhile to be their guest,
And, heeding thine unselfish way,
Spontaneous as thy roundelay,
WAVE AND BIRD. II
They give the weary needed cheer, —
Though 'tis the wintriest of the year,
To them their deeds of love shall bring,
The breath and blossoms of the spring !
Songster, how well thy carols fit
The teaching of an ancient writ, —
That cometh bliss or cometh ban,
To each, as each his fellow man
Hath given all he could to bless,
Or, spurning, left in want's duress ;
That kindness to earth's humblest one
Is unto Christ, the Master, done,
Who meteth bounds for all the days,
Whom all the seasons voice and praise ;
The Christ who spake as never spake
Or man, or bird, or burn, or lake, —
Or rather told what all things tell
To those who study nature well.
Sweet wave and warbler, as ye sing,
To me the Master's words ye bring —
" To those in need, to me gave ye ;
l To them refused, refused to me.
12 WAVE AND BIRD.
If unto them ye gave but ill,
Then bitterness your cup shall fill:
Gave ye them good, that ye I give,
And ask ye with your Lord to live
Where ye, while heaven's long day shall burn,
May all the bliss of blessing learn."
Creator of the wave and bird.
Inspirer of the Master's word,
Aid me the earth to rightly see
And thoughtful hear its minstrelsy,
And learn and heed the teachings high
Which all thy wondrous works imply —
That they who bless their fellow men
Shall reap their given good again ;
That joy can ever be secured
Through griefs in patient trust endured ;
And, sweetest note of all the song,
Faith always right, Doubt always wrong !
STANZA AND SEQUEL.
COMPANION of my boyhood
And friend of all my years,
Sublimely well enduring
Woes all too deep for tears ;
Responsive to your summons,
I come to share your grief,
To rhyme in reminiscence
And sing a bright belief;
Predicting you soon finding
The dawn succeed the night,
If thorns, likewise the roses,
And after wrong the right !
Away from scenes of traffic,
Away from business cares,
In which you toil so bravely
To kill the grief that wears,
Only to find, in toiling,
The work of no avail ;
£4 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
You come to ask of nature
A balm that will not fail.
Among the Berkshire mountains
Where nature does its best
To aid the tired and grieving
With satisfying rest,
You come, my loved Ethelbert,
Sighing at every breath,
Yet glowing with high purpose
To battle to the death
The griefs so fiercely gnawing
The heart of one as brave
As he, all uncomplaining.
Imperiled land to save,
Who risks amid red carnage,
With willingness, his life,
And ioys to be called worthy
To perish in the strife.
This excellence of patience
Is foretaste, in the grief,
Prophetic of fruition,
STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Quick after the belief,
That, tribulation suffered,
With bravery and love.
And faith that says the Father
Sends trials from above,
Grief's fiends shall flee, and angels
Unlock the gates of light
And usher in the morning,
To follow sorrow's night.
Ethelbert, near these mountains
The hamlet of your birth,
That seemed to you, in childhood,
The loveliest spot of eartn:
Where all the days of winter
Were happy days lor you,
However wild the drifting
Of snowy storms that blew;
And happy was the spring-time,
And days of summer bloom
Poured joys until for others
Your heart had not the room.
i6 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
When fiercest heat was over,
And on the pasture hill
The steers, rid of their tackle,
Were left to feed at will ;
And orchards bent with pippins
Around a buckwheat field
That gave a fragrant promise
Of an abundant yield,
Delightful then your dreaming,
As August waned away,
When seemed the hours half summer,
And autumn, still, the day.
Then mornings all, and sunsets,
To you were choicest gold,
And days with joys were brimming
As full as days could hold.
Ah ! sweet and fairy valley !
Where birds and purling streams.
Cascades and hill-side forests,
Excelled your brightest dreams ;
Where poet might sing sweetest,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. I 7
With scene above the psalm
Affording hearts the saddest
Sufficing rest and balm.
And, still, to you, 'tis fiction
To name the hamlet blest,
Though there began your being,
And there your kindred rest ;
And there your days were halcyon
With skies of peaceful hue,
And seemed the good translated
' No happier than you !
For there, a little later,
The sadness must begin,
The sweet of life turn bitter,
Its melody be din ;
And all its pleasant castles
Be crumbled into dust ;
And this, because they doubted
Who should have given trust.
Ah well do I remember,
Io STANZA AND SEQUEL.
You had a darkened sky ;
My angel of good blessing,
Appeared to pass you by.
The wreck of your ambitions
It needeth not to tell ;
For all the doleful story
Your sad heart knows too well.
Those words, " because they doubted
Who should have given trust/ 7 ''
O doubt, that quenches morning !
O doubt, to gold the rust *
Was ever soul in sadness
But through another's doubt?
Was ever soul defeated,
Suspicion caused the rout!
Not winning in your wooing
Nor famous for your pen,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 19
You still kept faith in heaven,
Though losing faith in men ;
And still lived ever noble,
Or was it day, or dark,
Your god appeased or frowning,
A raven or a lark,
Your bird ; and now, slow starving
For joys of love, yet strong;
Sad, almost unto dying,
Yet, patient under wrong !
Fit praises thine for heroes ;
Too high for men like me,
My heart must still accept them
For their sincerity.
And thanking thee for giving
The trust I needed long
From others than Horatius,
I ask of him a song;
His own sweet, soul-felt, singing.
2 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
To keep the hope alive,
Which he. in tune with nature,
Has made as;ain revive.
The sweetest songsters carol,
Among these Berkshire hills,
In harmony with music
Arising from the rills
That flow with silvery murmur,
In melody along,
And charm as if in heaven
They learned the art of song,
And were by Him empowered
Who formed the starry spheres
And guides their rhythmic motion
Through all the circling years.
Bright brooks ! they came from heaven,
To teach the tuneful art,
And woo men from their sorrows
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 21
And from their cares apart ;
To teach them high behavior,
And gentle ways and true,
Inspiring them with courage
To fight life's battles through;
The while, through all the harshness
That gives to earth its ban,
They live attuned for living
Where harmony began.
There other brooks, in chorus
With other birds, shall sing,
To tell the power and goodness
Of the Eternal King; .
And welcome home the singers
From dissonance of time
To melodies of heaven
And zephyrs of the clime,
Where, with the golden city,
Shall be the pleasant field ;
The tree of life forever
Its healthful fruitage yield;
22 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
The hill-side and the forest,
And rocky glen, be there,
And highest angel escort
Delight to give their care
To those who come to study,
In leisure of that land,
The features of the country
Which sin has never banned,
May one among the number
Be you who love the rills
That carol with the songsters
Among these restful hills.
When rivulets with singing
Have cheered Ethelbert's heart,
May angel guide attend him,
That, when he hence depart,
He journey to the eastward,
To hills that poet sung
The grandeur of whose numbers
Honors our English tongue.
Inhaling rarest zephyrs
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 23
To make the spirit strong ;
With feet in tune with cadence
Of Bryant's noble song,
Which thou shalt hear repeated
By tuneful brooks and birds,
As if the bard walked with thee,
To speak his own grand words,
Ascend the heights o'erlooking
The homes of Cummington,
Ensconced below the hill-side
Where Bryant's life begun.
When thou hast done due worship
Ascend still other height,
And vale of rarest beauty
Shall meet thy raptured sight!
There sweet a shining river
Flows singing to the sea,
And purls with charming cadence
Where smiling landscapes be,
Gemmed bright with pleasant mansions,
24 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
In form and look that seem
The counterpart of castles
That fill youth's brightest dream.
There, sentineled by mountains,
The vale its verdure spreads,
When, cheering after winter,
The May sun radiance sheds.
Bright hues of flame and crimson,
And wealth of dun and gold
The hardy mountain beeches
And valley maples hold,
When frost and autumn sunshine
Their chemistry have done,
In glorious completion
Of work the spring begun ;
And there, within that valley,
In other days, a scene
That fills with choicest fragrance
The years that intervene !
And that sweet scene shall ever
The river, glade, and glen
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 25
Invest with charms of romance,
And witness unto men
The bravery of a maiden,
Who so could say "forgive,"
That one whom she deserted
Bade the repentant live,
And be his inspiration,
A consort and a mate ;
A token that kind heaven
Would help him conquer fate,
And ne'er did lordly courtier,
The bravest and the best,
On love's ennobling errand,
From royal halls, in quest
Of one to match the visions
With which the gods inspire,
Who with celestial courage
The manly bosom fire,
To do the grandest wooing,
Find such transcendent worth
As crowns the name of Lillian
The brightest of the earth !
26 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Thy loveliness, sweet valley,
Which Metawampe guards,
Hath now especial meaning
Above the song of bards.
Dear vale ! whose faithful maiden
Rebelled against her kin,
Until they bade him welcome
Who sought her heart to win,
That maiden's ways heroic
Have made the sunrise shore
Of thy majestic river
Inspiring evermore !
Bright fairy-land, where angels
Attend when lovers wait
And aid the thoughts surpassing
All else however great !
Their happy faces, mirrored,
Reflect the thoughts of love
Aglow upon the features
Of each glad face, above
The kindly waters, reading,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 27
In limpid river blue,
That each heart loves the other,
And will for life be true.
Land of the sweet romances !
Therein, the legends say,
Bright ministrants of heaven,
On silver nights of May,
Expectant in an arbor,
Wait with the words that save
From cowardice the lover
And make the maiden brave ;
And when the pledge is spoken
To crown love's high emprise,
They soar trom Metawampe,
To tell the waiting skies !
In honor of the maiden
Who, quenching one heart's hell,
For two hearts made earth, heaven,
The scene he bids me tell
I sing, to cheer Ethelbert,
28 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
To whom a fate unkind,
Anent the noble passion;
And if Ethelbert find
The scene at Metawampe
To him good omen brings.,
Thrice happy his companion
Of Metawampe sings :
While cheering light
Of morning bright
O'er eastern height is glowing.
And choicest flowers
In any bowers
Or any landscape growing,
Their sweets exhale,
To fill the gale
Soft on the valley blowing.
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 29
Thou sweetest bird
Mine ears have heard,
Whose liquid music, flowing,
Hath magic charms
To still alarms,
The sweetest peace bestowing,
On fleetest wing
Fly thou, and sing,
To cheer a brave heart bearing
A load of grief
Beyond an angel's daring;
Though worn and faint,
Giving no plaint,
But brave on life's road faring;
Through griefs, discreet,
With spirit sweet,
Well worth an angel's sharing.
3<D STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Sing, bird of cheer !
So he shall hear
Above earth's loudest blaring;
And sing again
To cheer him, when
Noon's fervid heats are burning;
Assure him well
That thou wilt tell,
Ere next the noon's returning,
In thy best tune,
That some sweet boon
Shall soothe the plaintive yearning
Of his sad heart,
As he, the art
Of grand endurance learning,
Seeks only joy
Which doth not cloy,
A.11 vain enjoyment spurning.
STANZA AND SEQUEL, 3 1
Then, sweetest bird
Mine ears have heard,
When sunset's wealth is streaming,
In western skies,
To glad the eyes
And set the spirit dreaming
Of Ind of old
Or towers of gold
With heavenly splendors beaming,
Sing once again,
And tell him when,
Thy pledge in truth redeeming,
Thou bringest joy,
It shall not cloy
Nor be less than its seeming !
The world to bless
With his success,
By grand impulses driven,
32 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Leon to art
His head and heart,
Through toilsome years, had given ;
To win a name
And merit fame,
Most manfully had striven ;
Not thought of ease.
Nor wish to please,
From purpose firm unnerving ;
And painted well
Both flood and fell,
A high reward deserving.
But Fashion bold,
By threats and gold,
The coward critics swerving,
They named him cheap,
And much and deep
They planned to shame and grieve him.
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 3j
And Fashion's queen,
High in her spleen,-
Induced that one to leave him
Who vowed, by skies
And stars, to prize
And never to deceive him.
For fiat dread
By Fashion said
Receives a quick obeying,
Though Fashion ask
Or even ask the slaying
Of sweetest dove
The God of love
E'er sent to earth, conveying
A message down,
With joy to crown
Two hearts their pledges saying.
34 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
To whim accursed,
By mother nursed,
Who hoped her Lillian mating
With one of fame
Who had, with name,
The wealth for finest feting ;
The wealth to blaze
Through golden days
To her own fullest sating, —
To whim accursed
By mother nursed
Who managed the alliance 3
Fair Lillian said
She would not wed
But disregard affiance,
From Leon turn,
Who soon would learn,
Her own act scarce regretting.
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 35
In other face
His hope to trace,
His first love soon forgetting.
This noble girl,
For Fashion's whirl
By mother false intended,
In traits and lore
The father long ascended.
And when she died
Who thus belied,
The motherless, though weeping,
Found still a voice
That could rejoice
In freedom from that keeping.
Love's longing then,
And inner ken
Was quickened to discerning
6 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
What great mistake
The heart must make
When from its true mate turning
Her guardian kin
Vowed it " high sin
That Lillian should love him.
" Wretch, who pretends .!
For we, her friends,
Are socially above him !"
Grew Lillian brave ;
No longer slave
To Fashion's bold commanding,
She valued worth
More than high birth
And more than social standing.
One saddened year
She rambled here,
And homeward when returning
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 37
She dared to say,
" Their cruel sway
Henceforward firmly spurning,
" Some day I'll wed
Him whom I said,
In answer to his pleading.,
" From me should go.
Ah day of woe !
When I, in that false leading
" Subservient kept,
As Leon wept,
Could crush his heart to bleeding r
The morn returns
And kindly burns,
Its silver splendors playing
38 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
On eastern hills,
Whence happy rills,
The river's call obeying,
Flowed singing sweet,
In vale to greet,
When first the murk was graying,
One breaking rest,
To come in quest,
Ere children came for Maying,
Of choicest flowers,
In field and bowers
So sweet that angels straying
To earth, to ken
The ways of men,
Therein protract their staying.
The bloom to get,
And hoping, yet,
Angels, this morning, tarry,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 39
She comes to pray
They right words say,
That she the words may carry.
When she shall go,
E're noontide glow,
To cheer a heart so chary
She must be brave
Who thinks to save,
And gentle as a fairy,
With right address,
Who seeks to bless
The one from griefs so wary
He would suspect,
In friend direct,
A foe, and quickly parry
Faith's very deed
His heart should need
To lift him from his grieving ,
4<D STANZA AND SEQUEL,
At words she sent
And would repent,
With tears and full retrieving.
Thus she relates ;
In arbor waits
Angelic one, receiving,
Through perfumed air,
Her earnest prayer,
And then, a message leaving,
Toward the skies
Doth grandly rise,
His way with bright wing cleaving.
The angel flown ;
And when alone,
The flowers with laurel twining
Their truth to tell,
Doth Lillian dwell
Glad on his words, designing
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 41
Those words to heed,
When she shall read,
Their truth in full divining.
And, dulcet one,
At yester sun,
Whom I heard joyful flinging
Thy carols high,
From earth to sky,
As welcome message bringing,
Fly speeding back
Thine azure track
To him whose grief is clinging,
A bird austere,
Raven of fear, —
But it shall flee thy singing.
Bird of sweet song,
Fly swift along,
And fly with bravest winging
42 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Of bird whose word
Might be inferred
Would set these bright hours ringing
As breaks the day,
Bird, speed away,
And herald her whose cheering
His heart shall reach,
And winsome teach,
And aid to cease his fearing.
Now to his eyes
What glad surprise !
Is angel form appearing?
Doth most it seem
Or true or dream ?
A maiden bravely nearing!
And her whose doubt
Had cast him out,
What time the critics, sneering,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 43
Increased the need
Of kindly deed
And brave words, and endearing!
And doth she bow?
Denouement now !
Though tremulous with feeling
She hath no song.
Till for her wrong,
Her sad heart full revealing, ,
Before the man
Whom she gave ban,
She bows in humblest kneeling,
Pouring her tears,
Pale with her fears
And most sincerely praying t
" For wrong to thee
Wilt pardon me,
Who merit but thy saying:
44 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
" I haste away ?
If that thou say,
Mine be the sad obeying."
And Leon, now :
"That some should vow
And plot their 'worst to hurt me,
" It was not strange ;
But that thou change
And cruelly desert me, —
" The cup of woe !
It saddened so
As almost to convert me
" From buoyant mind,
To faith inclined,
To doubt's extremest madness ;
"That who decreed
My art should lead
To grandest heights of gladness
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 45
"Thy happy heart,
Should act the part
To fill my heart with sadness,-
" Ah ! bitter fate !
Most sad estate !
But I have seen thy sorrow.
" Thou askest me
To pardon thee,
Nor future moments borrow;
" But sayest condign,
If I incline
To wait till some to-morrow.
"The time is now
While thou dost bow ;
And here, this hand extending,
" I bid thee rise
And see the skies
Benign above us bending.
46 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
" Their peaceful blue,
With golden hue
Of early sunbeams blending,
" And pleasant breeze
In budding trees
Yon happy hills adorning;
" And waterfall,
And bird, and all
• The melody of morning,
" Bid thy hope live,
When thou dost give
Thy worship for thy scorning!'
Brave in her tears,
Brave through her fears,
And brave when came his blessing*
Before him brave
Who pardon gave
Full as her grand confessing,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 47
Doth Lillian true
Give honor due,
Brave Leon thus addressing:
" Thou truest man
Since time began,
And truest of the living,
" My joy how great,
When fit thy hate,
I have thy full forgiving ! "
No need to dwell
And frigid tell
Of every day he missed her,
Since morning gray
Of that sad day,
The last day that he kissed hei c
One word to say,
Her bravest way
With love his spirit firing.
4-8 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
That one word " Come I "
With him at home,
This is her song inspiring;
" Supremest bliss !
From thee a kiss —
Thy love with my relenting!
" Safe in thy arms,
Thy soul's high charms
To pay for my repenting!
" May thy friend lead
Across the mead
To bower yon pleasant glade in ?
" There would she tell,
In that dear dell.
The message first essayed m
" The charming place.
There Heaven gave grace
When earnest she had prayed in
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 49
" The pleasant bower.
O sacred hour !
O place the angel stayed in !
" There spake he words
That still like birds
Inspire the heart of maiden.
" And may she there,
With tender care
Lead thee, thou laurel laden ? "
For him but shame,
Whate'er his name,
Whose dark soul must discover
A snake beneath
The maiden's wreath
Wherewith she crowns her lover
STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Her tender talk
On that sweet walk
O'er which the angels hover,
Words from a heart
From sin apart
As white-robed hosts above her, —
Who evil sees
In joys like these,
And . pours his righteous spurning, — ■
Who thinks a knave,
Or foolish slave,
The suitor patient learning
Love's art, which few
Give study due,
And laughs at love's deep yearning,
Count him near hell,
Where'er he dwell,
A hell within him burning !
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 5 I
The sweetest word
Earth ever heard,
How some delight to sneer it !
Sweet word of love !
From joys above
The angels come to hear it I
And poise in air,
With choicest care,
To hear the song, as near it
As doth behoove
Those come to prove
When others' vows endear it,
And heavenly grace
Illumes the face
As love from grief doth clear it,
And throbs the heart
As love's quick art
Rids of the doubts that sear it !
52 STANZA AND SEQUEL,
How grand the truth,
Love giveth youth
To him who knows its meaning !
To him the sands
Of desert lands,
With flowers and grasses greening,
Are fresh with gales
In which joy sails
Have happiest careening
On sparkling springs,
O'er which bright wings,
In happy host convening,
Pour gladdest song
The hours along,
Their music grandly swelling,
For heaven meet,
As birds a bliss were telling
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 53
Above the worth
Of joys of earth,
Their song the thought compelling,
Each songster's ear
Did anthem hear
Of those in Eden dwelling!
Exquisite song, Horatius,
Of joys I have not known;
The music of thy numbers
The sadness shall atone,
Or lessen it, and aid me
To wish, for others, bliss;
And if it make unselfish,
High worth in song like this.
Though none have heard
What angel word,
By Lillian's lips repeated,
54 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
To Leon gave
Power to be brave,
Nor saw the kisses meted
That told their love,
Thou bird above
The bower where they are seated
Dost sing to tell
How fit and well,
At Metawampe, greeted
The fair and strong ;
And 'twas thy song
That aided Leon's wooing,
And taught that best
Is bravest quest
In any kind of suing.
Soar not away,
But longer stay,
Thou bird of bravest winging ;
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 55
Still cheer the dav.
Thou bird of sweetest singing.
Thy gentle eyes
Are fit to prize
The sacred ties
Declared by their caresses, —
Him wreath-entwined ;
Her head reclined,
As heaven designed,
Upon the heart she biesses ;
She gazing sweet
To eyes that greet
The orbs they meet
With richest lustre, beaming
From eyes of dove,
To speak his love
For her, above
All others, lovely seeming
56 STANZA AND SEQUEL,
To him addressed,
By her he blessed,
" As, noblest, best,
Beyond her fancy's dreaming I"
My friend, 'tis worst
That ever burst
From lips accursed !
The lie by cowards stammered ;
By fools, who prate,
Love is a fate
The man with soul enamored
Of soul worth, and attracting,
By his majestic acting
One who employs
The high decoys
Of maiden's choice designing,
Whose soul, his worth divining,
Attracts his soul, for twining
Love's tendrils strong, —
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 57
To him belong,
Above my song,
And thou who understandest
Such joys, by not possessing
The unspeakable blessing
Of love's returned caressing;
Ethelbert, tell '
Me thou wilt well,
Until life's close,
Endure thy woes !
That other ban
Of mortal man,
That fate the worst
That ever cursed
For cowardice in suing,
For treachery in wooing,
For any wrongful doing;
Or came to heart despairing
Of ever rightly pairing,
And wedding, so, uncaring;
That fate he wins
Whose heart begins
58 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
The married life unmated —
That thou art not thus fated,
Thou art congratulated.
Of all woes this life giveth,
His worst who wedded liveth
With one his worth unknowing,
Whose soul, nor grand nor growing,
Pretends, as such will, ever,
Each manliest, best endeavor
To think and live sublimely
A rash act and untimely,
The proof of cheap vanity,
Or sign of insanity!
Truth all too little rated,
'Tis hell to wed unmated!
But blest the man
By angel plan,
Shall save from ban,
Thou speakest well, Horatius;
Wilt thou thy theme pursue?
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 59
And with the heavens to favor,
Thy comrade will live true,
With gentle hand,
To thoughts sublime she led him;
With grandest views,
And nectar dews,
And heavenly fruitage, fed him ;
From field and sky
And mountain high
Inspiring lessons read him ;
With tender art,
From her true heart,
A sincere promise said him;
Naming a day,
A month away,
A happy day to wed him.
60 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
That good day came
With sweetest flame
The Orient ever lighted,
The golden ties
Of loving hearts united!
Day sweet with airs
That banished cares
And to high thoughts incited;
Day spanned with blue,
The whole day through !
As if all wrongs were righted,
And sang the lark
Till all birds dark
Had flown from earth affrighted !
At morning hour,
In Lillian's bower,
With chosen friends attending,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 6l
Two clasping hands,
To speak the bands
Their lives in union blending!
While hovering nigh,
From amber sky,
Are angel harpers waiting,
With high delight
In holy rite
In which two hearts are mating.
The service done,
The surpliced one
In fitting words addressed them ;
Calm in his bliss
Leon gave kiss.
And kith and kindred blessed them ;
While brooks kept tune
With birds of June,
Mid apple blossoms seated,
62 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
And birds from perch
Of beech and birch
The lovely Lillian greeted,
And rose acclaim
To Leon's name,
At Metawampe meted,
By every voice
That could rejoice ;
And flowers the choicest growing,
The twain to greet,
Sent odors sweet
By every zephyr blowing.
Ennobling, still, the anguish
That must be mine when told,
Wherein, for me were ashes,
Others found shining gold.
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 63
Twelve months, the morn
A child is born,
The gods to earth consigning
A lovely boy,
Sweet pledge of joy,
The graces well combining
Of him who heard
The singing bird,
And her love's wreath entwining.
Benign their sky,
As years go by,
Each marked with heaven's blessing.
And dawns the day,
Sweet in the May,
When angels come confessing,
To parents blessed
With baby guest,
That angel, in caressing
64 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Her cherry lips,
The nectar sips
Finer than that provided,
From sweetest flowers
Of heaven's bowers,
For gods when they decided
The questions great
In human fate,
By Jove to them confided.
Their love kept new,
For each soul grew,
And each the other aided
Right things to know,
To help each grow,
And love's rose never faded.
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 65
Each soul, each hour,
Increased in power,
Each by the other's doing,
And each by own
In grace was grown ;
Their love each day renewing,
Because, each day,
Each soul could say,
My soul's mate still is growing,
My soul to prove
With noblest love,
Affection worth bestowing.
What words are thine, Horatius:
"Their love kept new,
For each soul grew,
And each the other aided
66 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
"Right things to know,
To help each grow,
And love's rose never faded!"
Did not end soon, —
In truth it never ended.
By Lillian traced
With finest taste,
In love's own picture blended,
As Leon's due,
Her soul's rich hue,
To bless the man she mated.
To him there came
And he, as artist feted,
Still painted well
Both flood and fell,
Nor heeded critics serving
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 6j
Their lavish praise ;
Their proffered bays,
Nor aiding nor unnerving,
Of venomed threat,
The fullest scorn deserving.
Their biting sneers
Of other years,
With present praise, neglecting,
With verve and heart
He plied his art ;
Some heavenly guide directing
His paintings made
Of highest grade ;
And for the full perfecting
Of noblest one
His hand begun.
He came, the canvas bringing,
68 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
From distant town ;
And where came down
The angel, and the singing
Of sweetest bird
He ever heard,
To aid him, still seemed ringing
From every bird
That now he heard
Their happy carols flinging,
Made it complete ,
In arbor sweet,
Where pleasant sunbeams strayed in,
And glinted round
The grassy ground
Of bower two children played in.
And happy there.
In sweet May air,
The mother, erst the maiden,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 69
Recalled the day
She came to pray
In bower the angels stayed in.
Then choicest flowers
From field and bowers,
The advent there divining,
Fair maidens bring,
And sweetly sing,
On Lillian's brow entwining
With rare perfume,
The best of heaven's designing.
Sweet breath of praise
To God for rays
From solar fountain shining !
Yet speaks it more
Of scene of yore
Whose influence, refining,
JO STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Shall teach to know
High meanings glow
On shore and shining river;
Shall teach to read
That wave and mead
Reflect the Heavenly Giver,
Whose lovely earth
Hath greater worth
Than that it seems possessing;
A hidden good,
By thoughtful minds, and blessing
Who would discern,
With power to learn,
The truths their souls addressing
In all things made,
Of every grade ;
From spray of tiny fountain
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 7 I
To surging sea ;
From wind-swayed tree
To storm-defying mountain !
The truth in thy sweet singing
I love to hear thee tell.
The present of thy heroes ?
Thou must have known them well.
A year to stray,
The two so nobly mated.
Kind be the gale
That fills the sail
Of ship so grandly freighted.
Zephyr that fanned
Where Leon won his blessing ;
72 STANZA AND SEQUEL,
Seek thou the seas,
The good ship so caressing
That it behave
The roughest waves defeating;
And through the shocks
Of storms in safety fleeting.
And breeze the best
That ever blest
A wanderer returning,
In safety waft
Keeps time with Leon's yearning
To see once more
His native shore
And hear the carols ringing
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 73
Of sweeter bird
Than all he heard
In foreign countries singing !
Delightful and inspiring,
Shall linger with me long
The scene at Metawampe,
Depicted in your song ;
A solace and a study,
And influence as well,
To keep the feet from straying
And to right acts impel ;
Significant and lovely
As beams of morning are ;
An oasis in life's desert ;
In darkest night, a star,
To guide and cheer Ethelbert,
Who speaks his thanks to thee.
And that the scene you sung him
An omen prove to be,
STANZA AND SEQUEL.
There dawns a hope within him ;
Though he cannot behold
The good, the skies, to honor
The story thou hast told,
Will send, to prove the saying,
"The dawn succeeds the night,
If thorns, likewise the roses,
And after wrong the right!"
Your thankfulness is cheering;
And 'tis high joy to sing,
The more, if unto others,
The song a solace bring.
The sentiment pervading
The Metawampe theme,
To some, would seem a vision,
And idle as a dream ;
Yet I delight to keep it
To cheer me, and inspire;
To give my inner being
Its light, and food, and fire !
[Horatius and Ethelbert rising and looking across the
landscape, the former resumes speaking.]
STANZA AND SEQUEL.
But who are those equestrians
Who sweep along the plain,
In easy undulation,
Like biHows of the main?
One seems a kingly escort,
And queenly one who rides;
I wonder what, Ethelbert,
Their coursing there betides !
Ethelbert, they approach us !
Can I believe my eyes ?
My heroes gone to Europe,
Give us a fine surprise.
[The equestrians approach and dismount]
Ethelbert; Leon, Lillian.
Lillian, sotio voce.
Ethelbert! that the name?
I thought you o'er the ocean;
But, glad to see you here,
76 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
I ask you, know my welcome
Is hearty and sincere ?
Our European ramble,
Postponed until the sun
His grand autumnal solstice
In triumph has begun,
We came, of course, to Berkshire,
To spend the summer days,
And study much on horseback,
Or coach along the ways.
An hour ago we neared you,
Within this lovely grove ;
A moment heard you singing,
And toward yon mountain drove.
May I inquire the meaning
Of Lillian's knowing look ;
Why of the name Ethelbert
She special notice took ?
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 77
Well mayst thou ask, Horatius ;
And strange as romance seems
Our meeting here in Berkshire, —
Dramatic as our dreams !
And Lillian could tell thee,
Though modest of her deeds,
Why, in this unplanned meeting,
Her eye such meaning reads.
The heavenly light from God's high throne
Will answer all true praying,
And tell us when, and with what care,
The needed good conveying,
We go with ever ready hand ;
And if at once obeying
The inner voice, we save from sin
Who else had gone far straying,
Our act shall bring us grandest joy,
Above all song or story ;
78 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
And better fame than heroes win
On fields of martial glory!
One morn I sought for special aid
And heavenly direction,
If spoiler try his power to wreak,
That I give prompt protection.
That day I met one lured astray,
Who seemed by hope forsaken ;
Yet firm against the tempter's wiles,
With not a stray step taken.
God helped me say, "My friend, let not
Thy heart's pure blossom perish ! "
And memories of that hour until
Life's latest day I'll cherish;
So bright its lustre glows at thought
That faithfully I heeded
The voice that heaven gave within,
And spoke the message needed.
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 79
A quick, glad cry, she seized my hand,
And then, o'ercome, she fainted. .
The tempter fled; and then her voice, —
" A maiden still untainted
"Thanks her who saved from lasting shame
The one who here confesses
Her greatest fault, remembered long,
Of scorning his addresses,
"Who thought her more than all caressed
By all the airs of morning;
Then proudly she his suit denied,
And greeted with cool scorning,
" His humble prayer, that such as he,
When weary years of waiting
Had proven him, might then renew
His suit, with hope of mating.
"Tears of remorse these torrid years,
And then so near descending
The slimy depths where woman weeps
In shame that has no ending !
STANZA AND SEQUEL.
" O, thou, the best of womankind,
May woman worst present thee
Her trembling thanks, and ask thee lift
To Heaven, that must have sent thee,
" These tear-burned eyes — to God's clear blue,
In praise for fate averted ?
But may I hope ? will God forgive
Her sin who thus deserted
"The noblest one since time began,
And gave the coolest spurning
To his sweet words, that sang like larks,
And now, to ravens turning,
" With fiery beaks, in fiercest ire,
Are in her spirit burning ?
What sequel sad of broken vows
This desert heart is learning ! "
And gazing sad, with tear-dimmed ken,
On portrait held above her,
She said, " I print one burning kiss, — ■
Ah, my deserted lover!
STANZA AND SEQUEL. gl
'My wrong to him has brought the grief
Of which Ethelbert warned me !
If still on earth, wilt thou forgive, ,
Ethelbert, her who scorned thee?"
L Ethelbert, who has listened with riveted attention, sinks,
overcome with emotion.]
Estelle !— Horatius, hither !
Is this some fleetinsr dream?
He speaks her name; how strange all this!
'Tis God's own wisdom orders ;
And we of earth seem coming near
To heaven's very borders.
Still lives Estelle, and he forgives
For all those years of sorrow ;
A thrilling scene perchance there'll be,
When Orient brings the morrow;
Or we may hear, to-day, the vow
Among the Berkshire mountains,
82 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Excelling song of bards and birds
And sweeter than the fountains •
[Horatius, taking Ethelbert's hand.]
Companion of my boyhood !
Tell me, before high heaven,
If still on earth there lives
The one of whom brave Lillian
Her glowing picture gives;
And, if she live, speak gently,
That still remains on earth,
Ethelbert, still her lover,
To whom as nothing worth
Seems all the happy summer,
Nor aught the joyous spring,
Which doth not to Ethelbert
Her radiant presence bring.
Her home with us, her grief she tells
To none but those who love her ;
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 8$
in wore! and deed she lives discreet
As God's own sky above her.
She came with us, but keeps her name
From ail in Berkshire dwelling;
With thee restored, she may forgive
What I, to thee, am telling!
Is that her voice? my Leon bring
Thy lens, that thou descry her;
For oft she strolls alone and sings,
Where no one can espy her,
Leon, thy steed, and mine for her.
Thou who wast ever knightly,
Will act with care, and gently tell
The grand denouement rightly.
I As Leon and Estelle approach.l
My own Estelle. forever I
Ye biras your noblest song;
84 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
And sweetest brooks of Berkshire,
The joyous strain prolong !
Ethelbert ! !
Estelle ! !
[After the greeting of the reunited lovers. Ethelbert addresses
Horatius, thy prediction,
" The dawn succeeds the night 1
If thorns, likewise the roses,
And after wrong the right/"
I cannot sing. Ethelbert,
As high as you deserve,
Who, through the fiercest trials,
Displayed such royal nerve ;
And, in these sudden blisses,
Manly thine uncontrol ;
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 85
While, through your features shining,
The lustre of your soul,
Wins all my admiration,
My highest fancy fills,
And charms more than the music
Arising from the rills,
Among the Berkshire mountains
That murmur sweet along,
And sing as if in heaven
They learned the art of song,
And were by Him commissioned
Who made for service high,
And perfected in singing,
The minstrels of the sky ;
By Him who spoke to being,
Sweeter to sing than rills,
My friend who loves to hear them,
Among these Berkshire hills.
Each one the other loving-
With fervency of heart,
Each glowed to find the other
86 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Rapt o'er the rhythmic art;
But when we came to try it,
You sang so much the best,
I thought" it would be fitting
That my poor harp should rest.
And yet my verse found favor,
And yours was scornful thrown,
As stuff for which no merit
Could afterward atone !
Sadly you tore the parchment,
When here the hills among,
To leave no proof to mortals
That you had ever sung.
[Lillian, motioning Horatius aside, speaks to him ; after
which he returns and addresses Ethelbert.]
Revealing on revealing !
Excelling all. our song,
And Lillian has told me,
As he is brave and strong,
That I inform my comrade,
Above the angel's word,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 87
A maiden in an arbor
At Metawampe heard —
Was sentiment of stanza,
Upon a torn page read,
Discovered when she rambled,
Where intuition led,
From Metawampe, hither,
Among the Berkshire hills ;
And here she found the singing
Which all this romance fills,
With most inspiring sweetness.
And here how grandly fit
That she repeat the stanza,
In your own tracing writ.
She bade me give the paper
To him who wrote the verse ;
And now we ask that Lillian
The lucid lines rehearse.
"Reduce to fact your fancy ;
JVbr tarry till you do
88 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
Make real the ideal
That God has given you."
How strange the revelation !
What mortal would have kenned
Such wealth of good resulting
From verse by mortal penned ?
An artist's fame and fortune,
Domestic bliss complete, —
Two lives of highest beauty
With usefulness replete !
And , here, perchance, Ethelbert
Will other lines rehearse,
To match those loved by Lillian,
As beautiful and terse.
Most real the ideal,
Least fact what most call fact;
And, of ideal, most real,
Ideal in nn act.
[Solicited by Lillian, Ethelbert continues.]
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 89
When some kind voice tells thee plainly
Of new building for thine hand ;
And thou flndest hindrance mainly
In the strangeness of command
Calling thee from routine labor
In the wonted, humble, sphere,
And thou fear'st from foe or neighbor
An unkind or jealous sneer ;
Do not for such hindrance smother
That sweet voice that speaks within ;
Thou mayst find the foe turn brother,
If thou manfully begin,
And continue bravely doing,
Work the angel bids thee do ;
And, each day the work renewing,
Thou shalt find it ever new.
It shall charm like high romances,
Gemming legends of old days ;
90 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
And, beyond thy farthest fancies,
O'er wide plains, by untrod ways,
Paths unknown to other leaders,
Angel guide shall lead thee sure,
For the gold and goodly cedars
Which shall evermore endure,
In the towers of consummation
That shall mark thy work complete,
And attest the world's laudation
Which thy shrinking ears shall greet.
Fear not but for all these praises
That Good Power shall well prepare,
Who hath life in all its phases
Under His benignant care ;
For, by thorns and frequent crosses,
Which thy heart shall fully test,
Sad reverses and sore losses,
If His wisdom thinketh best ;
STANZA AND SEQUEL.
To true meekness He will hold thee,
Still commanding thee, be brave,
And obey injunctions told thee
By the angel that He gave.
And this angel shall sustain thee,
Be the work or long or hard ;
And the future shall explain thee,
All that did thy work retard
Was designed to bid thee stronger
Make the building of thine hand,
Which, than time's duration longer,
Through eternity, shall stand.
Follow thine intuitions,
They always lead thee right;
In all of thine ambitions,
Heed thou the inner sight.
Whatever to that vision
Seems duty for thee, do ;
9 2 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
No matter what derision
The doing leads thee through.
And derision it will bring thee,
Ere they shall understand,
And their tardy praises sing thee
Whom they had gladly banned;
They who would joy to shame thee
And chill thy heart with fright,
Did not thy grit proclaim thee
Superior to their might.
Brave one, thine intuitions
Shall always lead thee right;
In all of thine ambitions
Heed thou the inner sight!
Directed by that vision
Thy duty bravely do ;
The glow from thy decision
Shall light and lead thee through.
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 93
Whatever the monitions
Thou hear'st within thee, heed ;
That thou to have contritions
May never know the need.
The Father is forgiving,
If thou repentest sin ;
Yet most He loves that living
Which hath no falseness in.
Wanting fulcrum, wanting lever,
Given heavy weight to lift ;
Strong in faith, begin endeavor,
There shall come to thee, the gift
Of a heaven-designed appliance,
By which thou shalt mountains move ;
While beside thee, in alliance,
There shall angels wait to prove,
On more hindrances before thee,
All their own celestial might •,
94 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
And shall beam, benignant o'er thee,
God's own sky of love and light !
Be these bright words our motto ;
And now, if Lillian please,
To mark events resulting
From sentiments like these ;
Will she, where lovely maples
Delight our lodge with shade,
Prepare a feast as royal
As one for sovereigns made ?
For wine thou hast no liking, —
And who would wish for wine,
What other drink were given,
If poured by hand of thine ?
And, at that feast, Horatius,
Perchance, will give a song,
Announcing in sweet numbers
That Love enduring long
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 95
The trials of his patience.
Doth added bliss receive
For every cold refusal
That made his spirit grieve,-
A song to date a wedding
When fine October sun
Shall speak the season fitting
That lovers be made one.
And if at Metawampe
Our friends shall wish to wed,
Will Lillian deck the arbor
Where intuition led
When erst she sought an angel,
And where his hope begun,
Who, but for her relenting,
Had ever been undone ?
Thou, Lillian, my consort,
Though years have made me gray,
And thou hast locks of silver,
Thou art, as on that day,
96 STANZA AND SEQUEL.
My joy, my inspiration ;
As beautiful as beams
That gild the hours of morning
Or sparkle in our dreams ;
As young as at that meeting
When thou didst say, " forgive :
And I, for thy relenting,
Could bid thy hope relive ;
The hour when smiling heaven
Gave token in thy kiss,
Initial fit, and foretaste,
Of these bright years of bliss !
And with the words uniting
Their hearts in golden bands.
Shall they, as our companions,
Embark for foreign lands;
To thread the glens of Scotland.
And climb the Alpine height;
To linger in the castles
That rose by feudal might ;
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 97
To pluck delicious clusters
From vine-clad hills of France ;
And muse where classic ages
The interest enhance
In Italy's rich landscape,
And her delightful skies ;
And then, returning hither,
Find much to love and prize
In this good land, where nature
And liberty unite.
To furnish those devoted
To freedom and the right
Fit home, with room for growing
In all that makes men great,
And elevates a people,
And unifies a state.
[Lillian and Ethelbert depart on horseback to the lodge, and Leon
addresses Estelle, who tarries with Horatius.]
Truth worth the telling, such as poet true
Doth sing, is only found by patient search
In realm beyond the bounds of earthliness,
Cp STANZA AXD SEQUEL.
Accessible to him alone, whose heart,
Of selfishness divest, and well refined,
Can be that brave it must, to study close
As will to him reveal truth's treasures, hid
Therein, and evermore, to selfish ones,
E'en were they, unregenerate, permit
That realm to range. Fell foe is selfishness,
To bard, permitting him no bravery
To journey to that realm he seeks afar,
And quenching insight clear that sees the truth-,
And that dread enemy, once slain,
Often revives again to vex ; and he
With grandest powers of song, may have within
An equal enemy, and know it not.
How happy he, if faithful friend shall see,
And of that foe, to his convincing, tell.
And fortunate, beyond compare, to him,
If woman is that friend, whose love for him,
Enlightens her to see how strong that foe,
And aids her in the discipline upon
His heart which shall the enemy expel ,
And aids that, then, with tears sincere, she beg
To bow before the man she loves ; and he,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. 99
Protesting 'tis high privilege to him
That she beside him sit, shall gratefully
Admit he is her debtor evermore,
For discipline severe which all his worst
Self conquered, that his best might live and sing [
Estelle, possessor of that poet's heart
And soul, whose coinage and whose breathing was
The sentiment, in living which high truth
Did Lillian all doubt and selfishness
Expel my heart ; inspire with bravery,
And teach me patience with myself, that sought,
In practice of his art, the tracery to do
The artist's work, that gave my heart its joy
And brought me all my wealth of fame and friends ! — -
Thou, wise and good, what words of mine, to thee
Shall tell the deep solicitude that thou,
By love assigned to keep his heart, and thence
To drive his enemy, that thou shalt see
This work is thine to do ! What words shall tell
The joy that springs from full belief that thou
Wilt thus interpret meaning grand of these
Events, and well thy work will comprehend ;
And for that mission high, Ethelbert wed !
IOO STANZA AND SEQUEL,
Thou speakest, Leon, as from heaven, the words
That I shall prize, and evermore shall heed !
Shed, sweetest skies, your loveliness divine,
To temper well this heart ! and Spirit, Thou,
In Heaven, regnant high, yet noting all
Thy children's cries ; to me all meekness give,
And courage, that I well endure upon
My bleeding heart, the blows thou biddest that
My hand inflict, a better, truer man
To make that one I love as life itself \
Right nobly done, thy sentiment ! and now
The language, high, thy lover penned long years
Ago, and words my heart in faith adopts :
" Reduce to fact your fancy ;
Nor tarry till you do
Make real the ideal
That God has given you.'"
And thus, Ethelbert, blessed, refined, inspired
By thee, and growing by his work, shall learn,
STANZA AND SEQUEL. IOI
And all who shall his song admire will read,
In their own bettered lives his song has blessed, —
Still further sequel, grand, of truth he sung
In verse the critics, cursing, thought to kill !
[Leon and Horatius start for the lodge, leaving Estelle to
follow with Ethelbert, who has returned and
, addresses her.]
Estelle, thy steed awaits thee,
Eager to own thy rein
And amble, at thy bidding,
Like zephyr o'er the plain ;
Beyond the Housatonic,
To glens among the hills,
Where sparkle silver cascades
And sing the happy rills,
And where the lodge of Leon
Affords an ample view
Of scene, where, now, two lovers
Pray heaven to keep them true !
[Estelle, with Ethelbert as escort, leaves the grove.]
THE BRIGHT BELIEF.
IF, sore discouraged and distressed,
With sorrows and with cares oppressed,
And sins confessed, and unconfessed,
And every ill,
The heart were struggling for relief,
And found no succor from its grief,
In buoyant trust, and bright belief, —
How sad the earth !
But rules reverse of these obtain,
Nor mortal suffered yet in vain,
A trivial, nor the largest pain,
Nor ever will.
So let the troubled take new heart,
Learn well of suffering the art,
Nor shun to share a generous part
In life's good griefs !
THE BRIGHT BELIEF.
The saddest his of all estates,
And slave is he to dreadest fates,
And farthest he from heavenly gates,
Whom doubt doth rule !
But, sad one, if thou triest to trust,
In spite of all earth's dark and dust-
Though midst them living, as thou must—
Thou liv'st above, —
Then fiends that strive shall strive in vain
Control of thy good soul to gain,
And Hope, true angel, for thee deign
Her constant aid.
For none hath God the tender care
He ever shows for those who bear
Of life's worst woes abundant share,
Enduring gives the power t'endure,
With skill to make life's troubles fewer.
And suffering makes the sufferer pure,—
So welcome ill.
104 THE BRIGHT BELIEF.
Bright after clouds there comes the 'sun,
And sweetest rest when work is done,
True peace is but by warring won, —
True wealth by toil !
How blessed is the bright belief,
That joy which cometh after grief,
Is sweetest joy, and is not brief,
Like other joys !
Inspiring, grand, and true, the thought,
That bliss by bitter trials bought,
Is nearer unto heaven than aught
On earth beside !
And there, beyond thine earthly ban,
The wisdom of His rounded plan
Who ordereth the ways of man
Shall be made plain ;
And thou shalt know thy Father spoke,
When fates thy noblest planning broke
And gave to thee a cross and yoke —
That prove thy crown !
EARTH'S BRIGHTEST STAR.
/^"^ OD blesses most the men whose hearts
^— * With kind emotions burn ;
And, more than they their fellowmen,
He honors them in turn.
Ennobling is our faith in men,
It lifts us from the dust,
And what we trust a man to be
We make the man we trust.
Faith is the sun succeeding storm,
Spring, after winter's blast;
'Tis heaven's health and peace, when plague
And pestilence are past ;
Sweet, joy-inspiring airs, to chase
The desert's torrid breath ;
Verdure and singing brooks, in place
Of barrenness and death !
106 earth's brightest star.
Faith is earth's brightest star of hope,
Salvation and its cause,
The dispensation following
The prophets and the laws:
The newer and the better way
Proclaimed by angel song;
The dawn at night whose light extends
The centuries along !
" BRIGHT ON YOUR NATIVE HILLS."
BRIGHT on your native hills
The sun benignant beams,
Perennial down the pleasant slopes
Still sing the happy streams,
Which feed yon river's tide that flows
In beauty through the vale ;
Transparent, purling brooks
Which sing of springs that never fail ;
And grand the mountains stand, as erst,
BRIGHT ON YOUR NATIVE HILLS. 107
When there your kindred dwelt,
And fresh the mountain winds as airs
Their fields and forests felt.
And ye remain to keep their homes,
And guard the noble name
Earned by their share of those grand deeds
That give New England fame.
Shines their example, still, as bright
As beams the golden sun ;
Flows still their influence as pure
As mountain waters run.
So cherish ye the fame they gained,
And emulate their worth,
Your names, when ye are gone, shall live,
Perennial in the earth !
"SHE PLACED THE BITTER-SWEET."
(In remembrance of a noble family.)
l girlhood's home returning,
She placed the bitter-sweet
Within the grand old mansion,
Where sunbeams shadows meet ;
And there declared : " Henceforward
Be kindness all my theme ;
With constant hand dispensing,
The moments to redeem ;
" Teaching, if I have suffered,
I would the world be blest:
Praying, if I have struggled,
The weary have good rest.
" I thank Thee, Heavenly Father —
My name Thou hast kept sweet,
And through these bitter trials,
Hast kept my ways discreet."
"she placed the bitter-sweet. 109
The silver tresses mingling
Her raven locks among
Mean more than years ; they index
Her heart's own sorrows wrung;
Of which, most like, she tells not,
So reticent of grief ;
As most like she hath suffered
Too deeply for belief.
Bevbnd that first revealing
She speaks not of her lot;
% Hoping her many sorrows
By earth be all forgot !
To girlhood's home returning,
She placed the bitter-sweet
Within the grand old mansion,
Where sunbeams shadows meet:
ALWAYS WITH THEE.
IN sunny days of childhood playing,
When life was all one scene of Maying,
And thou hadst not a thought of straying,
God blessed thee then.
Forgiving all thy youthful sinning,
He helped thee to a manly winning
Good triumphs o'er a bad beginning,
And helps thee still,
That, in the strife which ceaseth never £
Demanding watch and warring ever,
Thou do, by manliest endeavor,
The victor be.
O GIVEN by fiends the gall to drink,
And sweeter grown for all they send ;
A kind and watchful Providence
Will soon proclaim the ordeal's end ;
Yet call thee not from earth above,
But ask thee, wearied one, take rest ;
And that thy restless eyes may close,
Command that, from the roseate west,
Angels reposeful influence sweet
Pour forth, to give thy spirit calm,
And others send, on zephyrs borne,
To soothe thy troubled heart with balm.
Angelic ones shall sentinel
Thy rest, and fragrance waft, till day,
Shall brightly break and bid thee, glad,
Thy grateful orisons to pay ;
Refreshed, inhale the ambrosial air
And walk beneath a happy sky,
112 THROUGH GRIEF.
Inspired, by carol of the birds
And songs of brooks that murmur by,
With faith that heaven will bless thy days,
Each westering sun bring peaceful sleep,
And every morn new evidence
That angels tender watch-care keep !
Heroic sufferer, who hast borne
The burden of a broken heart,
Patiently, artlessly, and yet
With all the dignity of art,
While so intent to bless the world
None knew what woes thine own heart had —
Deep, bitter griefs, which, told above,
Would make the heavenly singers sad, —
Soon shalt thou learn the gracious truth,
Through griefs and cares which here annoy,
Heaven builds the path by which thy feet
Shall reach the highest hills of joy !
"TOO MANY HEARTS ARE SAD TO-NIGHT."
TOO many hearts are sad, to-night,
I may not dance to music light,
They're sad from hunger and from pain,
And sad from sin's polluting stain.
Low down in cellars, up the stairs,
Where freely pass the winter airs ;
'Neath wretched shed, and in the street,
Where pelt the piercing storms of sleet,
Are pallid cheeks, and sunken eyes,
And forms that never more may rise.
Too many hearts are sad to-night,
I cannot dance to music light.
But some will wake, if moved aright,
To noble purpose and brave deed,
And nobly with their duty speed,
Achieving full, complete success,
While all the world, admiring, bless.
All this, if now, right words I say,
114 BLESSINGS FOR THE HELPFUL.
While you with like companions gay,
In dizzy waltzing whirl away !
Too many hearts are sad to-night ;
[ will not dance to music light !
BLESSINGS FOR THE HELPFUL,.
f~~^ OOD friend, if every one observed
^—^ The mandate to be kind,
If all were courteous as thvself,
And helpfully inclined,
How bright a scene this earth would be,
How light life's burdens prove ;
How blithe, along life's rugged road,
Would pilgrims singing move !
Sweet resonance of sparkling streams
Would bless life's desert drear ;
And birds would sing, and flowers and fruit
With fragrance fill the air !
There is no overestimate
Of kindness to our kind,
And brightest stars will bless the man
To helpful ways inclined !
\I 7HEN, erst, the nation was besieged
^ * By armed rebellious foemen,
And peace had fled, and skies were dark
With every direful omen ;
And Lincoln, from the capitol,
For aid so wistful beckoned,
Not least among the men to march
The Bay state's Forty-second !
Now that the din of war is done,
And glad the war cloud's risen,
They come with thought of camp and field,
And of the rebel prison !
Il6 THE FORTY-SECOND,
They gather here for hearty words.
In kindly interest spoken,
To make the bands of friendship strong,
That never may be broken !
Should Treason arm again her hosts,
To fill the land with trouble,
Her deepest schemes of ill would prove
An evanescent bubble ;
For those brave men would rise again
And march, with others like them,
To capture all the rebel guns,
And evermore to spike them.
And, wishing you much earthly joy,
And entrance late to heaven,
I speak this sincere offering,
In rhythmic numbers given.
By one who deems it pleasant fame
That he is welcome reckoned,
A member, in good standing, with
The Bay state's Forty-second '
THE wicked wish some critics have,
And knack, and greed, to kill,
May pass quite readily for taste,
And evidence of skill ;
But were there none to write a verse s
Or paragraph of prose.
How critics, then, would pass their time,
Is more than mortal knows.
They might ascend the upper spheres,
To criticise the stars,
And teach good manners and good sense
To Jupiter and Mars,
Then clip away old Saturn's rings
And set him bounds to run ;
Or venture near the solar fires,
To regulate the sun !
IlS THE RETORT,
And should these critics go to Heaven
Their joy would be to tell
How saints mignt tune their harps correct
And sins: hosannas well !
THESE lines to tell thee, bards
Who sing for all the listening laud.
And sages wise and famed, had named
Felicitous and grand
The verse on which thou didst
Invoke an ignominious fate,
And, with high, scornful wrath, declare
Unworthy of thy hate !
Then thou, with thy gray eyes
Quick twinkling in their greedy glee,
And rubbing thy cold palms, didst look,
Expectant long, to see
Before thee, suppliant still,
Thy victim bow in further prayer ?
And then his trembling form begin
Dissolving into air !
Instead, at equipoise,
He gazed, awhile, in high delight
On thy hard face, then left thee there 5
All powerless in thy might!
Although thou gav'st him joy,
He does not thank thee for the bliss ;
That verse, to thee, seemed lacking fire ;
Grim critic, say, does this?
ESQUIRE SMITH AND OTHERS.
J"E count above our common good,
Selectest of. our joys,
Remembrances of those dear days
When you and I, were boys,
And when, perfumed with clover bloom,
Our early moments ran,
And happy in the songs of birds
We journeyed up to man.
What other cure the world prescribes,
By far the safest, best,
Is glancing at our early days,
Is retrospect and rest.
From cares and crowds of urban life.
From traffic of the town ;
From wearying toil in dust and din,
From griefs that weigh you down ;
From present ill, and future dread,
And all that fetters thee,
Come to the country and the past,
Be innocent and free.
Review the scenes of early days
With fondness and with care.
The neighborhood once all your world,
And every object there :
The pansied yard, the slant well-sweep,
And apple orchard near ;
The ancient farm-house, broad and red,
By many memories dear;
The hay-field and the pasture wide,
The fences by the lane ;
The thick-leaved maples where you hid
When pattered down the rain;
The road where erst the stage-coach ran,
Which joyed you as it passed,
The high coach set on thoroughbrace,
And built to have it last;
The mountain road-way, steep and rough,
On which you trudged to school,
To "make your manners" and to learn
Hard Colburn's sum and rule ;
The school-house near the beechen grove ;
The neighboring lumber mill ;
The home-made hand-sled, and the joys
Of coasting down the hill ;
The autumn woods and golden maize,
And old Thanksgiving; dav ;
The winter wood-pile at the door
And drifts that choked the way;
Strict Sundays at the hill-top church,
Staid deacons in their pews,
The preacher in his lofty place,
Discoursing gospel news ;
And Sunday noons, with sermon done,
And benediction said,
When we, in that clear scripture class,
"The word" together read.
Wise counsel, then, the teacher gave,
That angel of our youth,
REMINISCENCES. 1 23
If pointedly, yet tenderly,
To carry home the truth.
His sympathetic face dispelled
Our bashfulness and fears,
Glowed at recital of our joys
And saddened at our tears;
And fragrant will the memory be
Of our devoted friend,
Till that good town and all of earth
In nothingness shall end !
And one w T as in that Sunday class
Who felt a call to preach,
And proved it true by saving those
Whom others could not reach.
With men on every hand w r ho wished
The gospel plan explained,
He did not tarry long at school,
Nor wait to be ordained,
I 2 _|. REMINISCENCES.
But went to work, with earnestness..
And strove his best to win
Some trophy for the Lord he loved,
By leading those from sin
Who near him dwelt, and whom he thought
In value quite the worth
Of those who lived across the seas,
In corners of the earth.
The hamlet school-house where he preached
To half a hundred men
Would hardly hold the throngs his words
Have won to grace since then.
Unlike ambitious pulpiteers
Who preach and pray for fame,
He did not seek the praise of men,
Nor glory when it came ;
But, stronger grown with his success,
Nor vain amid applause,
REMINISCENCES. 1 25
He keeps his great and growing powers
Devoted to his cause.
Another of that Sunday band
Has lived for self alone,
And reached, at last, the height he sought,
The politician's throne.
Ambitious man of place, the years
Of innocence review,
And see how far your selfishness,
From righteous ways and true,
Has led you on, through doubtful scnemes
And crooked paths, to power
Which founded seems, but which must fail
When comes the trial hour,
And leave you naught but bitterness
And keen remorse for ways
At variance with the pleasant scenes
That gem your early days.
Among the quaint habitues,
Whose words the hamlet cheered,
Welcome at huskings and the "bees,"' 5
The story 7 man appeared.
Glad on their journey to the school,
The pupils heard him tell
Of famous men who once were boys
And learned their lessons well,
And were quite sure to reach at last
A place at Washington,
Where many mighty laws were made.
And other things were done !
Although you little knew or dreamed
What were the " other things,"
Have you until to-day remained
Quite innocent of " rings ?"
REMINISCENCES. 12 7
The other school tasks done, you said
" Set " answers, that were given,
Anent some worthies then on earth,
And others gone to heaven.
With veneration you pronounced
The ancient Briggs's name,
But have you copied in your life
His honest steps to fame?
The shed remains wherein you sawed
The beech and maple wood,
Where cart and farming tools were kept,
And where that grind-stone stood
Which brings to you sad memories
Of axes hard to grind,
And, in hot days, the scythe, to try
The temper of your mind !
Often you vowed, when older grown,
Machinery should serve
To do the work that over-taxed
Your adolescent nerve.
But other themes than labor aids
Have moved your mind since then,
And you have had your axes ground
By various sorts of men !
You must recall quaint "Major" Brown,
Who led a roving life,
Since, years before, death claimed the girl
Pledged for the "Major's" wife.
And you remember when they laid
This "Major" Brown to rest,
That reverent, near the open grave,
The neighbors kindly pressed ;
While all the failings of his life,
In pity, were forgot,
And all his worth was magnified,
With worth that he had not !
Although, to-day, you feel above
Such broken men of grief,
So "great" they ought to prize the pence
You dole for their relief ;
When, at the coming call of death,
You journey out of town !
Will people think as well of you
As erst of " Major " Brown ?
Ambitious man of place, the scenes
Of innocence review,
And once again return to walk
In righteous ways and true.
This selfish one let us dismiss,
He cannot flourish long ;
And we can find more fitting theme
To chronicle in song,
In that delightful scene, when you,
At spring-time, on the hill,
Entranced to see the liquid wealth
From maple trees distill,
And, that it might the sweeter grow,
Sing, o'er the laughing tire,
A carol sweet as ever breathed
From angel lip or lyre,
Found finer charm in liquid eyes
Of two most lovely girls,
Whose happy smiles and ruddy cheeks,
And innocence and curls,
Were invitation that you dish
For them the waxen sweet,
And in return, for recompense,
Their lips with kisses greet !
One was a cousin, I believe;
The other was a friend
Whom afterwards you vowed to love
Till earthly days should end.
And now the keepsake that she .grave
Is moist with tears you shed,
To think, before the wedding day
Your pleasant friend was dead !
By road whereon the stages ran,
Not far away, the place,
Wherein, of old, as " leading man,"
With more than usual grace,
There reigned Elnathan Smith, Esquire,
Who lived, through all his days,
For morals, manners and attire,
Deserving sincere praise.
Smith spurned a miser as a thief,
And acted "on the square;"
And those not Masons have belief
That Smith had once "been there."
Attending church in holy time,
As every body should,
He " joined" in prayer and Sunday rhyme,
As pious people would.
Smith kept his temper all the while
Unmarred by frown or fret,
And gave a penny and a smile
To every child he met.
He had good sense and ready wit,
And kept whate'er he heard
That was for keeping really fit,
And always kept his word.
To patriotic teachings true,
He deemed of highest worth,
And kept, as most of Smithville do,
The " great and glorious Fourth."
Smith had a clear, unbiased mind,
And, such the town's desire,
The governor felt well inclined,
And made him village squire.
He taught, ten terms, the district school
In an adjoining place,
Maintaining: there a uleasant rule
With dignity and grace.
To Washington he never went,
That town of high import ;
Yet twice had been as juror sent,
And once to General Court !
As Smith grew old he walked in town,
On pleasant afternoons,
Attired in garb of modest brown,
And humming cheery tunes.
And, with his full and steady breath,
And face with health aglow,
He seemed no older near his death
Than twenty years ago ;
Yet Mister Smith has gone from earth,
As every mortal must,
Of noble or of lowly birth
Unrighteous they, or just.
His life, in Smithville which began,
Closed there at eighty-four;
And Smithville weeps that this good man
Can be with them no more.
Smith's life-long friend was Doctor Bliss,
Who carried, everywhere,
A smile, to cheer the sick and drive
That worst of curses, care.
Bliss loved Squire Smith, and looked like him,
Clad trim in like attire ;
Near him he lived, and when he died,
Was buried near the squire.
Another friend of Mister Smith,
Respected and revered,
Was William Wilson, learned and wise,
A teacher born and reared.
The ancient school-house where he taught,
For twenty years and more,
Had but three windows on a side,
And one above the door.
It stood upon the village green,
Hard by the " Center church ;"
Was well supplied with furniture,
But unsupplied with birch !
This Wilson had a better way
To punish recreant boys,
Who had been lazy at their tasks
Or making needless noise.
To them more dread than blows the book
Wherein, with proper grade,
For every wrong a pupil did, •
The fearful check was made !
With patience and with kindly care
He led his pupils through
The paths of common learning, till
They every feature knew.
And oft, perchance, they caught a glimpse
Of classic grove and field,
And felt a longing for the fruits
Those pleasant regions yield.
But Euclid and " the languages,"
In district schools of vore,
Were all discarded and forbid,
• As very useless lore.
Since Wilson gave up teaching school,
Ten years and five have passed ;
But through a century to come
His influence shall last.
He still resides within the town ;
And, though three-score and ten,
The people all declare he is
The comeliest of men.
Not far away from Smith's abode
The shop of Crispin Crane,
Who furnished boots for Smithville folk,
A livelihood to gain.
Not only did he gauge their feet,
But oft they came to find
He fully had the power to take
The measure of their mind!.
By timely repartee he stilled
A most perplexing bore,
Who perpetrated bitter jokes
Within the Smithville "store."
And Smithville vowed, town meeting day,
"Who can this pest defeat,
We must elect him, here and now,
To legislative seat."
Crane proved a wise assembly man,
Was hearty with his friends,
And never made a speech unless
To compass worthy ends.
It was this year in politics
A party rose and fell,
Whose bad disaster at their schemes
It is a joy to tell.
Late in the term a question rose
This party called the test,
For which their leader spoke at length
With artificial zest;
And, in his final flight, declared,
" How favored is the land
Where, sentinels of public peace,
Labor reformers stand !"
"'Labor reformers','' Crispin spoke,
" That means reformed from work ;
And rightly named, for well you like
Life's burdens all to shirk.
"Below the wrath of common men;
Too cheap for ours by half,
We'll not oppose your plannings, but
Explode them with a laugh !"
The wit that beamed in Crispin's eyes,
Put all in merry mood,
As rang around the galleries
A soul-refreshing " Good !"
The gavel man forgot to rap,
Reporters dropped their notes-,
And when some one "the question " called,
The measure had twelve votes !
And that's the way the party died,
By this sarcastic Crane ;
And hence the reason he was sent
To General Court again.
And still again was Crane returned.
Until six times in all ;
Nor by the lures of lobby men
Did he from honor fall.
Yet Crane does not love politics ;
And, now, in private life,
He glories in his leathern art,
His children and his wife !
Let not the bards to whom belong
High themes and lofty verse
Despise, as all unworthy song,
The lives these lines rehearse
Though each lived in obscurity,
Yet each was still a man ;
As good on earth we seldom see,
And better never can !
Though Smithville was so blest of heaven,
To it one tedious thorn was given,
A full "perfected" man of sin,
Most surely who the purse could win,
Did he and Satan run a race
On any course away from grace !
Supremely mean in all his deeds,
His heart as hard as flint ; the needs
Caused by his extortions moved him not ;
The pining poor were all forgot.
Selfish, of marble face, and stern ;
Full quick to sin, and apt to learn
The ways of avarice and wrong;
On primal sin improving long,
He chose oppression for his art,
And practiced it with all his heart;
His sinning cloaked with graciousness,
And cursed when he appeared to bless !
He so gifted in causing tears
Had fitting name — Abijah Beers.
May God protect if here, again,
So bad a man 'mong living men !
And there was not, since earth began.
So much of meanness in a man.
To find fit place for him to dwell,
The liberals declared for hell !
He died at last as fools do die ;
Thistles thrive where his ashes lie!
Although, in later years, the town
Has its unwelcome men,
Whose like the people rightly pray
May never come again —
A fellow keen at crooked claims
And skilled in stealing lands ;
An undertaker glad to have
Fresh orders on his hands ;
A barrister who nurses feuds
To have a chance for fees,
And busy gossips who delight
To fan a social breeze —
tn spite of them the people thrive
And keep the ways of peace ;
And ever may the dear old town
In all good things increase !
Yet it cannot, nor can the earth,
Afford us better joys
Than blisses gemming those dear days
When you and I were boys !
And, still, rejoicing that they live
In memory our own,
We will not sigh as passing years
Proclaim us older grown
And swift the seasons speed their course,
That bear us both along
144 MY NATIVE LAND.
From scenes depicted in these lines
Of reminiscent song.
And, now, good friend, a hearty wish.
And expectation, too,
That>you so live you can delight
In scenes your boyhood knew •
And that you reach, at last, beyond
Earth's changes and its noise,
Serener joys than those we had
When you and I were boys !
MY NATIVE LAND.
GOD bless the land where I was born,
And played, a happy child,
Ere yet I saw a Southern swamp,
Or roamed a Western wild ;
And where, within a cot among
The Massachusetts hills,
MY NATIVE LAND. I45
My early being was attuned
By cadence of the rills.
O could I be forgiven, did
My heart not turn to thee,
With gratitude and pride, dear land,
For all thou art to me !
Thine atmosphere and scenery,
Thy present and thy past :
Thy trials first, and glory now.
To last while time shall last ?
And, in the future of my life,
Where'er my pathway lies,
Whatever lot is meted out,
Or kind, or cold, my skies ;
Still, evermore, my song, at home,
Or on a foreign strand,
Through life, and at the honest hour-
God bless my native land !
THE SWEET riEART.
SO bold, should one of you accuse
That some sweet girl inspires my muse,
To all the rest it would be news,
But not to me.
The maiden never tells the fact
By any word or any act,
Evincing such consummate tact
To keep it hid,
She is not reckoned on the list
Of those who try to " keep it whist,"
And in the search she might assist
And none surmise
There was a reason for the zest
Wherewith she aided in the quest
To which the searchers had addressed
Their skill in vain.
FOR ALL LIKE THEE. 147
Keeping the secret a little more,
We twain, as others have before,
Will seek the parson's friendly door,
And tell it there '
FOR ALL LIKE THEE.
MAIDEN discreet, I give thee praise
For words select and comely ways.
And wish thee many joyous days,
And worthy friends.
May Honor win, by grand address,
The blissful good of thy caress,
And True Love come, thy heart to bless,
And Hope to cheer.
For all like thee discreetly kind
May every cloud be silver-lined ;
For them be thornless roses twined,
And evergreen !
" THE STARS HAVE HEARD. "
FULL oft the stars have heard thee say
Thou think'st him grand and true,
Yet never hast thou dared to hope
That he would love thee too.
To thee, unconscious of thy charms,
Unthinking of thy worth,
'Twas wonder that, for him, thy love
Should make a heaven of earth.
Thou winsome one, sincere and sweet,
So frank, and yet so coy, —
If strange it seems, yet 'tis not strange
Thy love should give him joy !
"COME, HAPPY BIRD."
COME, happy bird of sweetest note,
Blithe bird of brightest wing,
Of one who close resembles thee
Thy choicest matin sing.
"come, happy bird. 149
She charms her home, as thou thy bower,
With liquid warblings sweet,
And marks each hour with words sincere
And winsome ways discreet.
Sing, bird, so bravely and so well
That one who seeks her hand
Shall be inspired to speak and act
The bravest in the land.
For only thus shall he attain
To favor in her eyes,
Who but withholds, that he may win,
What he esteems a prize ;
While hers is modest estimate
Of worth she may possess,
As thine, sweet warbler, of thy songs.
His listening ears that bless.
50 - "prize thou thyself.
Come, happy bird of sweetest note,
Blithe bird of brightest wing,
Of one who close resembles thee
Thy choicest matin sing !
" PRIZE THOU THYSELF."
O blest with innocence and health,
And wisdom far above thy years,
Who hast not felt heart-rending griefs,
Nor wept the bitter, scalding tears, —
Exquisite maiden, whose bright ways
Are pride of her who thee did bear,
And who, these years, with tender hand,
Hath nurtured thee with fondest care,-
Prize thou thyself, thy kindred prize,
Thy home and all its quiet joys ;
And keep thee, much as in thee lies,
From earth's frivolity and noise.
"prize thou thyself. 151
Cherish the gift of thy good sense,
And do thou bravely live and keep
Thy soul from all that causes shame
And makes the watching angels weep !
For thee, God grant the kindest skies,
For thee, sincerest, noblest friends ;
For thee, all earth's substantial good,
And heaven, when earth's ordeal ends.
For him whose worth deserves thy heart,
And whose brave ways thy heart shall win,
May brightest stars benignant beam,
For him, and all his noble kin.
O, blest with innocence and health,
And wisdom far above thy years,
Thy heart be long unknown to grief,
And long thine eyes unknown to tears !
GOD, the griefs I may not tell
Help me in silence bear,
And grant thy child the faith to feel
He has a Father's care !
The faith of patience that can wait
Till providences prove
The things that seemed unkindest fate
Were evidence of love.
Grant him the faith to see Thy hand
In each untoward event
And all he cannot understand
Believe in mercy sent ;
The faith to see through storms arise
The waving wealth of grain
That, ripened by benignant skies,
Shall all the storms explain ,
ACKNOWLEDGMENT. 1 53
The faith to see through darkest night
The radiance of the morn,
Effulgent from the gates of light
The happy hills adorn,
Inspiring birds and brooks to sing
The minstrelsy of love,
And men to learn that everything
Is ordered from above.
O God, when griefs 1 may not tell
Are more than I can bear,
O Thou who doest all things well,
Grant me a Father's care !
ACCEPT, selectest man I know,
Who met my sadder years,
And all unmindfull of thy griefs,
Wast mindful of my tears ;
I 54 ACKNOWLEDGE cNT.
Whose kindness, when but few were kind,
And noble gentleness,
Came so refreshingly to me,
And royally did bless ;
Accept the gratitude, too small,
My heart would offer thee,
For thine example and thine aid
So freely granted me ;
The heartiest words and kindest deeds,
Wisely, yet freely, given,
Imparting to my bitterest hours
A foretaste of my heaven.
Once, scorned by those whom I had blest,
And doubted for my trust,
My pleasant plans were broken all,
My hopes were in the dust.
Then thou didst cheer me — blessed hour !
And sacred be the spot
When earth's ignoble men are both
Forgiven and forgot !
INTO THE SUNSHINE.
AWAY from doubts that chill and blight,
Into the joy of faith's clear light,
Far from the doubts that chill and blight,
Come to the sunshine bringing bloom,
For the rose there's always room ;
Come to the sunshine bringing bloom,
Into the sunshine of belief
Lead thou the stricken sons of grief,
Into the sunshine of belief ;
Into the sunshine, with a song,
To cheer their faltering steps along ;
Into the sunshine with a song.
Give them the sunshine of your trust ;
If they have joy you surely must
Bestow the sunshine of your trust.
156 INTO THE SUNSHINE.
Abundantly to them impart
The sunshine of a generous heart ;
Full and free to them impart.
Live in the sunshine while you live,
And unto all your sunshine give ;
Live in the sunshine while you live.
Into the sunshine when you die ;
Into the sunshine, through the sky —
Beyond the sunshine, when you die !
Beyond the sunshine and the sun,
Where thou, with all thy toiling done,
In that good land beyond the sun,
Beyond the doubts that chill and blight,
Shalt dwell in the unceasing light,
Beyond the doubts that chill and blight !
CELESTIAL one, who canst inspire
With wisdom to attune the lyre,
If hither shall incline thy wing,
Come, heavenly muse, and aid to sing;
That, haply, thus the song may tell
The truth that solves life's problem well,
The truth which rightly shall explain
The mystery of grief and pain
That darkens days of every year
Of all the troubled journey here,
Through scene, in which, or brief or wide.
Who fares through it shall ills betide !
That course extends where thistles grow
And noxious airs unceasing blow ;
Through desert where, by day and night,
Hyenas haunt and fiends affright
And challenge to unequal fight
Those who survive the previous way
Where unchained lions prowl for prey!
And yet, above this scene there flies
The sweetest bird from Paradise :
158 THE CONFLICT.
'Tis named the bird of hope below,
And given the ken our lives to know ;
Kind acts alone, and righted wrong,
Awake for men this warbler's song!
And when it sings the skies give ear
That they the dulcet notes may hear ;
And fly, at Charity's commands,
From heaven to earth, the radiant bands
Of angels missioned to attend
When man to brother man is friend.
Intent to bless the helpful deed
That mortals do for those in need,
When love inspires the bird to sing,
The full, melodious caroling
They hear, and speed on bravest wing.
Affrighted by that song of cheer,
Then flee the fiends that hovered near,
Aware it augurs near at hand
The powers their might cannot withstand.
And life's wild desert comes to be
A land of sweet fertility,
Where pleasant groves, and verdant hills,
THE CONFLICT. 1 59
And songsters blithe, and joyous rills,
Give foretaste of the land above
Where dwelleth the Eternal Love
That sent the wondrous Christ to earth,
To teach mankind the priceless worth
And beauty of unselfishness,
And show how godlike 'tis to bless !
In days when pilgrims had been brave
And conquered all who battle gave,
The fiends, enraged to think it true
Twelve months since fiend a pilgrim slew,
Assembled that they plan to slay
Whoever next should take his way
Along the dangerous, desert road
Whereon, of old, Apollyon trode.
And Doubt, the monster known as Fear,
Sat eminent, and Hate was near,
With score of impish Jealousies.
And sneaking Slander, versed in lies,
And Selfishness, and Envy came,
With lesser fiends that have no name.
l6o THE CONFLICT.
And Fear they chose and clad him well
With mail that was annealed in hell,
And armed him with a heavy blade
That seemed for some dread business made.
And more did they appoint, to guard,
That pilgrim should not press too hard
Their champion, furnished for the fight,
Who seemed himself a host could fright.
The morrow's morn the retinue
Before their chief pass in review,
And, taking chains for Fear to bind
His victim, if his greed inclined,
They march away and soon descry
A man of pilgrim panoply;
One in whose face, if fiends could learn
To read such mien, they might discern,
Beneath the sweet, exquisite grace,
Speaking almost an angel's face,
The power foretelling their defeat
Who dared his trusty blade to meet.
Yet him they venture to assault.
THE CONFLICT. l6l
And pay most dearly for the fault.
Six guards the pilgrim conquered soon
And others routed at high noon,
When fierce the towering fiend appeared,
Derisive laughed and loudly jeered,
And struck, as if a blow should spill
The life scarce worth his while to kill !
The thrust quick parried, then the foe :
" I, who have laid the bravest low,
Swear now by yon meridian sun
In one short hour thy warring's done ! "
Yet he so fenced the blows away
Whom Fear thought was an easy prey,
Half down the sky the lustre stood
Ere fiendish blade had tasted blood.
And, with his wound, courageous grew
The man, the conflict to renew ;
And yet, though well he bore the blows
Dealt by the fiend, whose fury rose
Till glowed his face aflame with rage
That such brave war the man could wage,
As o'er the scene the anxious sky
162 THE CONFLICT.
Noted the passioned hours go by,
The warrior's surely ebbing might
Showed he must yield, at last, the fight,
And nature sighed in grief to see
The fiend was gaining mastery.
When sad the sunset closed the day
That trembled with the mighty fray,
Deep-hewn by Fear and left in bands,
To perish on Doubt's desert sands,
His wounds proclaimed that long and well
The hero battled ere he fell.
Yet he, though brave, was vanquished still,
With spirit crushed and broken will,
And fitting were the sombre skies
In which it seemed no sun could rise !
Responsive to the sufferer's moans,
The wild waste thrilled with thunder tones,
Yet rains blessed not those desert airs —
There are no tears for some despairs !
Yet no despairs but some kind deed
Would meet the saddened spirit's need —
THE CONFLICT. 1 63
Revive the dying heart to tears
And strength to rout the worst of fears,
Or hold the cruel foes at bay
Till there good angels take their way.
And, in that brave man's night of doubt,
From which the stars were blotted out,
A night through which alone could see
High-visioned soul of Charity,
A gracious act and hearty word
Awoke for him hope's happy bird,
Whose singing put his foe to flight,
That, lingering in the murky night,
Did gleeful laugh at every sigh
That spoke the sufferer's wish to die !
A stranger o'er that desert way
Came where the panting sufferer lay,
Knelt like a brother at his side
And tried to staunch the ruddy tide,
And, ere the wounded man could ask,
Proffered him water from his flask.
The hero drank, his thirst to slake,
164 THE CONFLICT.
And thus, in heartfelt whispers, spake :
" Grateful that Providence did send,
For thy coming, I thank thee, friend.
Searching if other havoc made
By that dread monster's wicked blade,
Bestow thy further blessing there
Till angels shall relieve thy care.
And I am safe ; a bird doth sing !
They come; I hear an angel's wing ! "
Passed then whom he saw not before,
And here he never saw him more,
But heard that, full of years and faith,
He crossed the river men call death.
And through that midnight to the plains,
To oint his wounds and loose his chains
Whom first a human friend addressed.
Whom first a man had cheered and blessed,
The bright ones of the pitying skies
Came swift of wing for such emprise,
And clusters brought from heavenly vine,
High-cultured for the feasts divine.
THE CONFLICT. 165
Of these he ate, and peaceful slept,
The while the angels vigil kept,
Until, o'er eastern hills, there came
The flushes of a rosy flame,
And Orient gave a morn that glows
In memory bright as when it rose
With Heaven's high approval smiled
On every feature of the wild !
The desert greened to grassy glades,
Wherein, to cadence of cascades,
By happy brooks and blessed with shades,
That, frequent as the hero's needs,
Were flecked along the flowery meads,
His heart harmonious with the day,
He fared with gladsomeness his way ;
To each entrancing scene and song
Awake, and yet sustained and strong,
And not o'ercome by sudden boon,
That still came not the least too soon,
Surveying, with emotions due,
Earth still the same yet grandly new !
l66 THE CONFLICT.
And he for whom that radiance shone,
Unselfish by its sweetness grown,
And deeming all his trials sent
Of Heaven for his development,
Is given a truer, keener ken
To read the wants of wretched men,
An ear attentive to their grief,
A ready hand for their relief,
And voice that wakes for them a bird
Like that whose song his darkness heard.
And, brighter than his morning rose,
Meridian joy serenely glows
O'er him, for whom no fateful night
Shall interpose between the light
Of sunset and the heavenly day,
Where faith's sublimest splendors play
And ever shines the golden worth
Of deeds of kindness done on earth !
There, radiant with celestial grace,
Smiles now the well remembered face
THE CONFLICT. 167
Of him he saw but once before ;
Resplendent on the other shore,
The one who blessed his desert night
Is reigning with the sons of light !
There, thrilling the angelic lyres,
Delight of all the heavenly choirs,
The song of hope that once he heard,
The carol of the joyous bird
That charmed the midnight of the plains,
When angels came to loose his chains I
They thought to con the numbers high,
To aid the anthems of the sky ;
And that glad song, to cheer him, given,
Is evermore a hymn of heaven,
Harmonious with the rhythmic spheres
And cadence of the eternal years !
THY BEST DELIGHT.
WHEN thou who lovest well thy kind
Despairing ones shall chance to find,
Be their relief thy best delight,
And lead them forth from doubt's dark night,
Beyond the miasmatic breath
Coursing along doubt's vale of death,
To sunny hills where roses bloom
And faith's clear light dispels the gloom;
Where they shall hear the chorusing
Of all the sweetest birds that sing,
And sweetest brooks that ever sung,
Since brooks, and birds, and time were young
Shall purl and sparkle in the light
Succeeding unto sorrow's night !
THY BEST DELIGHT. 1 69
Then ever shall a voice for thee
Sing hope-inspiring minstrelsy
Far sweeter than the singing heard
From any brook or any bird
In happiest glen of all the world,
And like the brooks that joyous purled
In Eden when the earth was young
And all the stars together sung !
And dost thou doubt, and point to men
Who bless and are not blessed again,
But live in grief, and grieving die
Of much bestowing charity ? —
Perhaps not here, yet in some clime,
Perhaps not now, yet some good time
Of God's sure years, shall greet the eye
That moistens here with sympathy,
170 THEE AND THINE.
Scenes bright as those the seer of eld
Entranced on Patmos isle beheld,
When full the radiant glories shone
From gates, and temple, and the Throne
THEE AND THINE.
THE thought of thee and thine gives cheer,
And aids that I the nobler be ;
And that thou holdest thine so dear,
Enhances thee and thine to me :
Thy mother, sweeter for her years,
A sister beaming with delight,
And with thee, one whom love endears,
And clustering offspring, good and bright !
And when thou tellest me, with pride,
How nobly toiled thy mother, erst,
That hers with her might all abide,
WILLIAM WILLIAMS. 171
And foiled, with widow's hands the worst
That fortune and false friends could do
To break the circle of her home ;
I glow with thee, that she was true,
And wish her bright, good years to come !
W r HEN William Williams walks abroad
He trips along so proud,
And steps so dainty on the street
Rude people laugh aloud.
These lines expressive of regret
That they should think to scorn
The man for whom the earth was made
And stars the skies adorn !
For whom the Summer solstice burns;
For whom the Winter's cold.
The verdure of the pleasant Spring,
And autumn's red and gold !
172 THE IMPERIAL.
A man of ancient family,
Whom heraldry correct
Points backward to a crown and throne,
Through ancestry direct.
And, still, when Williams walks abroad
lie has a gait so proud,
And steps so dainty on the street,
The rude will laugh aloud !
IMPERIAL moves the lofty one
Along the Fashion street,
His head in pain from hitting stars,
While boys with laughter greet
His supercilious presence cold
And manners of the sky ;
The common folk award him space,
And clogs his coming fly !
Proud peacocks, jealous^ of his style,
Have much discussed a plan
1A£ LESSON OF THE SEASONS. j y ■>
To free -hemselves, and rid the earth,
Of this sublimest man.
May heavenly powers their hatred thwart,
And o-vol their mighty ire,
Spare him from griefs of common men
And from the final fire !
Give him jbove a lofty seat,
And caution Gabriel well
To quench such jealousy as plunged
Prince Lucifer to hell;
Old Lucifer, who fell from power
At less offending pride
Than that by which, if this one rise,
Good Gabriel will be tried!
THE LESSON OF THE SEASONS.
OVV happy, sparkling in the sun,
Down hills the brooklets sing,
When April warms the flowers to life
And birds are on the wing.
74 THE LESSON OF THE SEASONS.
Though fervid glows the solar orb,
On torrid summer days,
Yet brief its reign ere earth is blest
With milder autumn rays.
Serene October days, how pure,
How choice the joys ye bring,
In foliage bright and ripened grain,
Fulfillment of the spring!
And welcome is the later sun
That cheers November's gloom,
With foretaste, in t the dying year,
Of coming breath and bloom.
Ye dearest " Indian summer " days,
Of that brief, golden time,
Imparting, ere the winter's snows,
Choice tints to autumn's rime ;
Though sad the memories that ye bring
Of wrongs by Indians clone,
Poetic period of the year,
Live on, while lives the sun !
THE LESSON OF THE SEASONS. 175
And sing who will December drear :
Oft in its coldest days
Sweet hours of brightest sunshine come,
Inspiring warmest praise
To Him who, all the seasons through,
Apportions, with kind care,
The wind and calm, the rain and snow,
And varied dark and glare —
That earth be blest with bud and bloom,
And yield abundant grain,
And mortals find each season good,
With nothing made in vain.
THE EQUAL LOT.
ITH equal hand impartial Heaven
Bestows on all the blessings given
To cheer the earth.
If birds that bless the morns of spring
Alone at regal courts would sing,
We might complain.
176 THE EQUAL LOT.
But everywhere, from hill to shore,
The joyous warblers artless pour
Their songs for all.
As grateful thine anemones
And all the perfumed potencies
Thy rose exhales
As odors they of kingly kind,
Empurpled in a palace, find
The flower to yield
That grew by royal gardener dressed,
And bloomed with smiles of princess blessed y
On sacred days.
Nor sweeter sounds than you or I,
Hears king or Croesus, walking by
The purling brook ;
Nor, navied in their gilded boats,
Than we embarked in common floats,
More restful plash
THE EQUAL LOl. 1 77
Of wave ; nor surer they to ride
In safety to the haven side
Of waters sailed.
Nor king than we has sweeter hymn
Of Zephyr ; nor doth Sunset limn
For king, with hues from heavenly fount;
Nor truer is the royal count
Of stars than thine
To His who outlined nature's plan
And reared the astral arch, to span
The universe !
SIC ITUR AD ASTRA.
THOU selfish one who seekest heaven
Through fear of final fire,
And never had for heaven itself
The first sincere desire,
1]& SIC ITUR AD ASTRA.
Supreme unselfishness aione
Can for the skies prepare.
And he alone may hope for heaven
Who loveth what is there.
Thou asking God to grant the boon
Thou hast not tried to win,
Beseeching His forgiving grace
Yet never hating sin,
And. coward, whining for the heaven
Where only brave souls are —
Wherever in the realms of space
Revolves that happy star.
The object of the good man's hope
And goal of all his quest,
Bright sphere of life, and growth, and joy,
And work that giveth rest —
That place of earth is nearest heaven
Where the unselfish dwell,
And where there is but selfishness
There needs no other hell !
SIC ITUR AD ASTRA. 1 79
And thou who cleemest 'tis decreed,
By mandate of thy God,
That thou be favored in His sight
And spared the fateful rod,
Which thou dost think is wholly right
For those despised by thee,
And therefore doomed by Him to wrath
To all eternity, —
It was a fratricide declared
His brother not his care,
And he alone is sure of heaven
Who leads another there !
Go thou, like Christ, and strive to save
Another than thyself ;
For hoarding up salvation is
As base as hoarding pelf.
And when, like His, thy life shall bless
Thy suffering fellowmen,
Then thou, by Him, art saved thyself,
And art condemned till then !
ISO AN URBAN HEAVEN.
Supreme unselfishness alone
Can for the skies prepare,
And he alone is fit for heaven
Who leads another there.
AN URBAN HEAVEN.
WELCOME though an urban heaven
To the people of the Eld,
Living where the cities only
Any real safety held
From the prowling wolves and lions
And the roving robber bands
That produced a reign of terror
In those wild and desert lands, —
Irksome now an urban heaven,
With its mansions a la mode
And the people dressed in costume
For the visiting by code,
And the sainted hosts parading,
To the clangor of a band,
'Mid the burning splendors blazing
In the city of the errand !
A hero's grave. 181
And whatever the engagements
Of inhabitants above,
They may "vilipend the formulas"
And occasionally rove
Irrespective of prescriptions
That the formalists have given,
To instruct the saints and angels
In the etiquette of heaven !
A HERO'S GRAVE.
A CHRISTIAN, comrade, son and friend
Is slumbering 'neath this sod ;
His form is there, his name with us,
His spirit with his God.
Fit place it is for hero's grave,
Where mountain zephyrs play,
Where fair ones bring the choicest flowers
And good men come to pray.
l82 A STARLIT ROAD.
To designate his sepulchre
We raise this shaft, but trust
His deeds shall live when monuments
Are mouldered into dust !
A STARLIT ROAD.
HERE is for all a starlit road
Whereon, by heavenly grace bestowed,
They reach the skies,
Who heed the truth the spirit gives
That talks with every man that lives,
To guide aright,
Interpreting what nature means
By all the myriad sounds and scenes
That fill the world,
And will, if he doth will, explain
The scope of earth, and boundless main,
And heaven itself.
"WHERE THE NOBLE HAVE THEIR COUNTRY."
ABOVE the grandeur of the sunsets
Which delight this earthly clime
And the splendors of the dawnings
Breaking o'er the hills of time,
Is the richness of the radiance
Of the land beyond the sun,
Where the noble have their country
When the work of life is done !
There is the mysterious problem
Of their earthly life made plain,
All the bitter turned to sweetness,
All the losses turned to gain.
There the rapture of the new life
Far exceeds the griefs of this,
And earth's toiling is forgotten
In the restfulness of bliss.
And the music of their welcome,
From angelic lyres of gold,
Shall full often be repeated,
Yet it never shall grow old ;
184 "where the noble have their country
Music grander than earth's noblest,
Than all eloquence of words
And the sweetest of the carols
Of the gladdest of the birds S
Far removed and freed forever
From the artifice of time,
Shall the noble of that country,
In the real of that clime,
Read the wisdom of the Father,
From whose all-creating hand
Are the beauties, and the glories,
And the people of that land!
There they rightly read the visions
Of the ancient seers, that give
Higher good than urban splendors
Where the saints at last shall live :
Where they surely find a heaven
Not conventional or made,
And inhabitants delighting
In the hillside, brook and shade !
"where the noble have their country." 185
For magnificent with forests
Is that country of the skies,
Far excelling in their bird-songs
All the earthly minstrelsies.
And that country hath its mountains
And is resonant with streams
That are sweeter in their music
Than the rivers of our dreams !
Blooms of finest form and lustre,
Fragrant on the eternal hills,
With their odors bless the zephyrs,
That, harmonious with the rills,
Sing, to give the angels pleasure
Who were fit to sing the birth
Of the Savior of the sorrowing
And the sinful of the earth.
And, His mission there completed,
He shall reign with them above
And instruct them in the wonders
Of the country of his love,
l86 " WHERE THE NOBLE HAVE THEIR COUNTRY."
Where He giveth them an entrance
And that higher work to do
That shall keep them ever growing,
And the charm of living new.
And His name throughout the ages,
As the aeons circle by,
To the trend and the cadence
Of their own eternity,
Shall be theme and inspiration
In the land bevo'i ! the sun,
Where the noble have their country
When the work of life is done i
Othou who dost win
In the conflict with sin
And who art net vain of the winning
But, brave for the right
At the close of each fight
As thou wast so brave at beginning,
Dost modestly wear,
What thou holdest with care,
The laurel of freedom from sinning,
Continue thy zest
Though arbors of rest
Invite from thy noble endeavor ;
And battle thy foes
Till thy warring shall close,
And thou art a victor forever.
THE fight with doubt is ended,
And, victor through Thy grace,
To Him who has defended
I render heartfelt praise,
That, helped by Christ's example,
And giving heaven his trust,
When strode the foe to trample
A victim in the dust,
"thou art the man.
His shafts of malice sending
Envenomed with hot rage,
And fierce with greed for rending
Who dared the war to wage,
On shield of faith receiving
The darts the demon sent
And in that sword believing
That never futile went,
He routed there the demon,
By aid of grace divine.
Who, now, by faith a freeman,
Proclaims the glory Thine.
"THOU ART THE MAN."
Suspicious one, " will I confess ? "
Nay, I will boast, not as you guess,
Her maiden heart intent to bless,
She gave in one inspiring kiss,
The joy for worlds I would not miss.
And should your eye find ill in this,
nature's moods. 189
And think that happy, guileless one,
Though she were quick yourself to shun,
Would from your accusation run, —
Who hath within, would he but scan,
Bane worse than all inflicted ban ? —
Suspicious one, thou art the man !
POWERLESS are nature's moods to voice
The soul's extremities
Of woe, and powerless they to speak
Its highest ecstasies.
When he who bravely gives a heart
And longs for love's return
Discovers that the one he seeks
Delights his love to spurn,
The wailing winds are not enough
To chant the spirit's grief,
And meagre the significance
Of autumn's faded leaf !
igo nature's moods.
For what the requiem of winds,
And what the frosts that blight
November days, when life to him
Is one December night !
Can moaning winds through forests bare
When night has not a star, —
Can barrenness of desert drear,
Bleak, desolate and far
From haunts of birds and homes of men
With children's voices glad, —
Can any scene of earth proclaim
How wretched and how sad,
How sore discomfited the one
Who woos and wins, to find
That love, which should inspire and aid,
Has forged a chain to bind
In thrall more cruel than defeat- —
Ah, loyalty that learns
nature's moods. 191
How worse the tyranny that holds
Than haughtiness that spurns!
Not all the breath and burgeoning
That brings the bird whose lay,
When winter's reign of wrath is done,
With joy inspires the May;
Nor apple bloom, nor rarest rose,
Nor most melodious tune
Of all the harmonies that thrill
The joyous days of June ;
Nor waving wealth of wheaten fields
That crowns the summer tide,
Nor hues in which October sees
The forests glorified,
Can tell the greatest, sweetest bliss
That ever gladdened earth,
His joy who gives a heart, and wins
A heart to prize his worth !
"WHERE NATURE REIGNS."
NATURE rebukes presumptuous men,
And yet invites the constant ken
Of reverent souls.
And still the words the Master saith,
Who came of old from Nazareth,
Nature repeats :
Consider thou the lilies well,
O man, who thinkest thou canst tell
And all the processes divine
Wherein the primal hues combine
That beauty give,
And tell the fragrances that meet
To make those rarest odors sweet
That lilies shed.
Consider thou the lilies well,
O man, who thinkest thou canst tell
What lilies are —
"where nature reigns. 193
Perfections from the alchemies
Wherein the chemists of the skies
Have wrought their best !
And lilies not alone meant He
Who taught, on hills of Galilee,
But all the flowers that decked the field
For Him did sweetest pleasure yield,
And theme for thought.
And, eloquent above thy speech,
The flowers will still their ethics teach,
O man of earth,
As when to prove his doctrine true,
In Palestine, the Teacher drew
From Nature's store.
And, mortal, thou canst ever find,
If well instructed is thy mind
By heavenly power,
194 "WHERE NATURE REIGNS.'
Such high renewal of thy might.
Such inspiration and delight,
And rest, and peace,
In thinking on the works of God,
From tiny twig and velvet sod
To mountain peak,
As thou in thine ambitious schemes,
Fulfilled unto thy brightest dreams.
Canst never find !
Where nature reigns distinctions fade
That pride may bring to grove and glade
To flaunt them there.
Rank has no sway at nature's court,
And Fame is there of small import,
And pelf is scorned.
To thee as kindly welcome wave
The elms as unto prince they gave
Who fared that wav ;
WHERE NATURE REIGNS.''' I95
And wild and tender harmony
The pensive pines address to thee
As unto all,
And breathe balsamic airs of health
Uncaring for their rank and wealth
Who seek the boon.
The quiet beauty of the beech
To thee as unto all will teach,
If thou wilt learn,
The loveliness of real worth,
Whatever station in the earth
The worthy have.
Thou canst the graceful tasseling
That decks the birchen boughs of spring
As well enjoy
Uncrowned, untitled and unknown,
ugh instated on
Of kingly power,
As though instated on a throne
ig6 "where nature reigns. 3
Commanding hosts whose flags unfurled
Should win obeisance from the world
To that great name
Whereof ambition falsely tells
Till fond imagination dwells
Thereon inthralled !
To thee as grand the oaks that hold
Converse with crags of mountain bold,
Anent the storms.
As unto royalty they seem ;
And for thine eyes as brightly gleam
The sumacs gay
As for the monarch who desires
To imitate their scarlet fires
On robes he wears
But finds that futile is the sleight
:gs to deck themse
As nature shines !
Of kings to deck themselves as bright
"where nature reigns. 197
Contrasting with the snowy lands,
As sombre-hued the hemlock stands
Thy grief, as though the dark, cold green,
Sighing, bemoaned with northland queen
Her consort dead.
Impartially, when April breath
Proclaims the winter's reign of death
Is at its end,
The maple buds portend the June
Whose leaves shall cool the torrid noon
Of summer time
And ripen till the autumn days
With red and golden glories blaze,
Aglow from heaven.
As bright the miracle where hills
Of freedom hear New England rills
In ceaseless song
As where, to Midian tree, the flame
Prophetic for the Hebrew came,
By God's command,
To teach the Moses of that time
To lead his brethren to the clime
Long promised them.
The same, but still contrasts the fire
That freedom's modern bards inspire,
With that of old—
The first proclaiming good to be,
While this announces liberty
AWAY from things conventional
Man finds from nature given
Equipment for the toil of earth
And for the work of heaven.
Impatience is reproved to see,
If but impatience scan,
His work who calmly ordereth
Nature's unhurried plan.
The equipoise that reason needs
Is found by brook and shade ;
There stimulus for thought, and there
Devotion's kindest aid.
And, thence aspiring, faith descries,
Beyond the mystic stream,
Amid celestial groves, the towers
Of heavenly mansions gleam,
Where nature and The Book proclaim
The good shall find their rest,
And hears, on heavenly zephyrs borne,
The anthems of the blest,
And hears the song *of joyous brooks
That glad the eternal hills
2 00 A ROSE.
Whereon the flowers bloom whose breath
The better country fills
With sweets ambrosial, for the saints
Perfected by the strife
And by the bitterness of earth
For the sublimer life I
EYOND the single rose he sought
She piled the offering high
Of lily, pink and jessamine,
And larkspurs of the sky,
Until the gift, full antidote,
For all his grief and strife,
Led him to bless, with that she gave,
Another troubled life.
And words for his bestowment said
Were finer fragrance far
Than concentrated odors breathed
From all the lilies are !
Ah lady, acts like thine shall bloom
In choicest beauty where
The sweetness from the heavenly plains
Perfumes the sentient air.
THOUGH the highest, the best, and the sweetest,
Achieved by the loving of earth,
Is little compared with the transport
Of loving where love had its birth,
With the rapturous blisses of loving,
In the region of love in the skies,
Where affection is breath, and devotion
The motive and goal of emprise,—
202 HER PROMISE.
Yet the highest and sweetest hereafter,
Of the wondrous delights of love,
Yet the grandest of all the fruitions,
Of love in the land above,
Shall be heightened and brightened forever
At thoughts of the loving below, —
Shall be heightened and brightened in heaven,
Where loving intenser shall grow
By the memories, there, of the mating
Of the kindred pure spirits on earth,
With the foretaste at first of fruition
Of love in the land of its birth.
THE arbutus left its fragrance
To last the springtime through,
And fill the earth with perfume
Until June's roses grew.
TRIAL DAYS. 203
And zephyrs sweet with odors
Her promise took above,
To whisper to the angels
The secret of her love.
The golden-rod has blossomed,
The summer-tide is high ;
Return the airs from heaven,
And glows the joyous sky
With hope that when October
Is glad with gold and red,
Shall be fulfilled the promise
Amid the roses said.
O TRIAL days that come to test
The loyalty of love ;
How seem allied the earth and hell
And all the powers above,
204 TRIAL DAYS.
In strange combining, to defeat
The heart that seeks to hold
Its course unswerving from the one
To whom the troth was told.
Rare vows they were in sober life,
When pledges were imbued
With wisdom that experience gave,
And found the fire renewed
Of early passion of the soul
Ere trusting love had known
Its first defeat, and bright with hope
Life's radiant morning shone.
And then, as first, the thrush and lark
Poured their united strain
In high confession that the song
To voice the joy is vain,
When hearts in love their pledges make
And all the skies approve, —
O trial days that come to test
The loyalty of love !
THAT OTHER DAY AND THIS.
IF torrid glare should come to burn
To crisp this tempered zone,
And verdant vales to desert turn,
And hot siroccos moan
Through forests leafless on the hills
That once with herbage fed
The fattening flocks that drank the rills
Where grass and streams are dead —
Not even this could indicate
The desert of that day
When Doubt usurped the throne where Fate
Had driven Love away !
If rivers burst from desert sands,
That in their gracious flow
Should stimulate the arid lands
Till rose and wheat should grow,
206 THAT OTHER DAY AND THIS.
And kine contented drink and feed
Where clover-blooms bedecked
And richest verdure greened the mead
With frequent coppice flecked,
And trees of noblest umbrage rise,
Wherein the birds should sing
As if commissioned from the skies
Their highest notes to bring,
And angel ministrants descend
With golden harps of song,
And angel, brook and warbler blend,
The anthem to prolong,
Till earth with minstrelsy should thrill,
And peoples of the earth
Should catch the songs the land that fill
Where music had its birth,
And came the full millennial dawn,
The blessed thousand years,
THAT OTHER DAY AND THIS. 207
With men and angels rapt upon
The cadence of the spheres —
The scene would scarcely then display
The change from ban to bliss,
From grief that darked that other day
To joy that crowneth this !
For, reinstated, regnant, strong,
Love hath his rightful throne,
To which a realm with wreath and song
Their glad allegiance own.
And near him Virtue premier stands,
And Valor clad in mail,
Whose shafts from his unerring hands
Make all the foemen quail.
And Honor, regal as the sun,
Is clad in lustrous gold,
And Mercy, swift, delights to run
And saddened ones enfold
208 THAT OTHER DAY AND THIS.
In shelter built at Love's behest
In gratitude to Heaven,
That hath rewarded thus his quest
By fullest empire given.
And Wisdom there, whose sapient eye
Discerns the thoughts of men,
And all the powers are guided by
The prescience of her ken.
And reverent all the princes bow
Enraptured with the theme,
" Let all the hosts do worship now,
For Love is king supreme ! "
And harvests wave, and zephyrs chant,
And bird and tuneful stream,
That none the monarch shall supplant,
For Love is King supreme.
And written on the cope of heaven,
To verify the dream,
The sign the mighty God has given,
That Love shall reign supreme
Till consummation is attained
In that great realm above,
Where mysteries are all explained
By Him whose name is Love !
E zephyrs ! bring the odors sweet
That on your fragrant way ye meet
Where all the rarest blooms combine
To make the air so near divine
It seems as if to earth were given
The flavors of the hills of heaven !
But can ye tell her breath who came
To wake his heart to purest flame
That ever burned in Valor's breast
When fortune smiled upon his quest ?
Her words were music, ways were grace,
And calm on that expressive face
There glowed the hope of summer skies ;
While in the glancing of those eyes,
Which heralded intensest kiss
That ever warmed a heart to bliss,
A spirit shone that would inspire
The gods to their divinest fire !
And him it gave the wish to bless
And lift from want and doubt's duress,
Prompt when their need should indicate,
Whom he should find unhorsed by Fate,
On fields of the unequal strife
That somewhere comes in every life.
Ye airs ! excelling any word
That earth or Eden ever heard ;
Ye zephyrs ! chanting numbers high,
To challenge harpers of the sky-
Till they attempt sublimest song
That ever thrilled the heavenly throng —
Nor ye, nor they, can sing above
The music of that wondrous love !
THE fools may laugh, the prudish quaff
Their cups of pale, cold mist,
And seem content with no more meant
Than if two icebergs kissed !
Whoever thinks when Ellen drinks
Her joy from Ronald's lips
There's aught but love — that one above,
At feasts where Juno sips
The nectar high that cheers the sky-
To its intensest glow,
Would deem such fire a dark desire
And think that airs that blow
From Paradise bring ill device,
And kiss by angel given
Was wandering worse than that whose curse
Sent Lucifer from heaven !
The fools may laugh, the prudish quaff
Chill vapor of the morn,
Affecting stress of righteousness
Which doth affection scorn —
Whoever thinks when Ronald drinks
The joy by Ellen given
It is not well, would find it hell
If he should get to heaven !
HEART OF ICE.
WITHOUT, circumspect and sternly correct,
With character showing not any defect,
Thy coldness within no luring can win ;
Pulseless, and therefore not given to sin !
Thou passionless one, what rivers can run
Where coldness turns backward the rays of the sun ?
From sinning though free, what credit to thee ?
So frigid art thou the tempter would flee,
Or, cold with concern, to ice-pillar turn
Where fiercest the fervors of hades should burn !
With forcefullest will, and busied to kill
The joy and the sweetness of others, until,
A-tremble with dread, around thee they tread,
With only the life to wish they were dead !
But cometh a day of contrasts that may
Melt all thy cold virtues to nothing away.
This warning dost spurn ? — its truth thou shalt learn
Where fiercer the fervors of hades shall burn
Than primal design of fiat divine —
For hell would be chilled with a presence like thine !
THOU cause of universal wish
That there were gloomier than the hell
Wherein, apart from hope and peace,
'Tis said the damned in darkness dwell, —
Sinner compared with whose offence
Seem other greater crimes but small, —
Thou chemist of infernal wit
Transforming sweetest joy to gall,
And gloating o'er their bitterness
Who lovers were and pure as breath
Of roses in the air of June,
And free of sin as heaven of death —
I name thee Slanderer, and declare,
With thee compared are cowards brave,
The robber is an honest man,
And kind who doth his kind enslave !
IN AMBUSH. 215
But why this wish concerning him
Whose words to serpent tongues shall turn
And thrust his soul whose thoughts they were,
And sting as fiery caustics burn ?
In retribution for the sin
Of him who speaks the sland'rous words,
Himself revealed unto himself
The ample punishment affords.
THOUGH poisoned word be never heard,
To voice the base designing
Ye contemplate on those ye hate,
The thought does the maligning !
'Tis ever true, sin colors through
And outward shows the staining
Of sin within, where sins begin,
And, slanderous words restraining,
2l6 IN AMBUSH.
If ye nurse aught of slanderous thought,
That thought the victim curses ;
He vilifies by face and eyes,
The evil thought who nurses.
His fellow-man he giveth ban
Who casts the look suspicious ;
And if he praise, the cautious phrase,
Rose-scented and judicious,
Belittles worse than open curse
Of enemy malignant ;
And in his eyes are wily lies
Although he beam benignant.
These shall he send to vex and rend
The one his shrewdness blesses ;
They schooled the while to watch his smile,
And kill whom he caresses.
WHEN Tommy Trim at morning takes
The pleasant train for town,
He wears the kids and hat correct,
To match his whiskers brown.
And through the coaches every one,
With equipoise of stride,
He walks to throw from gorgeous eyes,
Alternate to each side,
The glance benignant that shall cheer
Those waiting till he bless
The hearts that thrill with agony
For his high graciousness !
Ah, Tommy Trim ! remember well
The years will quickly fly,
And kids will fade and time will dim
The lustre of the eye !
And other ones with lovelier face
And tuft of finer brown,
Will smile to win rewarding smiles
From those who ride to town ;
And none recall, dear Tommy Trim,
The matchless orbs of thine,
That beamed to cheer the other days
With radiance benign !
OYE who hope to be forgiven,
Yet scorn when others plead
Your pardon in the name of heaven
For ill, impulsive deed —
Did not an ancient teacher say
That God forgiveth none
Who have not unto those who stray
The full forgiveness shown ?
And say that, unforgiven, ye
Shall never reach the skies,
That your forgiven frailty
Your own salvation is ?
Yet ye who need to be forgiven
Refuse when others plead
Your pardon in the name of heaven
For an impulsive deed
That ye, yourselves, might do, some hour,
When fierce temptations came
The high resolve to overpower
And smirch the brightest name !
Assuming the infallible,
Ye judge your brother man,
With ease his degradation tell,
And gladly mete the ban
Your laws assign, that none too great
Regard th' offender's good,
While ye, unmoved, behold his fate,
Demanding blood for blood !
And boastful, self-assured, ye flaunt
Your worth as menace high,
In cold, self-righteousness of taunt,
When he to hope must die !
O who of all the unforgiven
Do clemency so need
\s those who ask the grace of heaven
Yet scorn when others plead
That they professing to be strong
The helping hand should lend, —
That they should overlook a wrong
Who may themselves offend?
"JOY SINGS SERENELY."
TOY sings serenely in his heart
Who lives devoted to the art
And Joy for him shall ever sing,
While all their days of greed shall bring
To selfish men
The dissonance of selfishness ;
And discord, darkness, and duress,
WOULD ST thou thy gift should be of worth
To him thou blessest in the earth,
And, likewise, prove to thee a boon,
The given staff, or loaf, or tune, —
Then see thou well that no design
Of selfishness, at date, be thine ;
Nor, after, let that sordid prove
Whose only origin was love.
222 "THOU SHALT DISCERN.
Bestow thy benisons, to tell
Thy heart delighteth to do well ;
Or, give unthinking, as the spring
Sends out its wealth, or, on glad wing,
The bird, as happy as the air,
Pours forth its carols everywhere!
"THOU SHALT DISCERN."
DESPITE the darkness and the din,
And all the tendencies to sin
Thou findest here,
Earth is the place and now the time,
To win the boon of happy chime
For that Beyond,
Where, if thou bravely livest here,
Thou shalt discern, with vision clear.
The meaning high
Of all the mysteries of earth,
And find those things had real worth
That useless seemed,
BY WARRING WELL. 223
And, grateful, thank the Eternal Mind
That He, the Infinite, the Kind
Hath planned it all !
BY WARRING WELL.
T T /HEN", dominant by warring well,
V V And in the fight grown strong,
The soul reigns o'er the outer self
That held it subject long,
The calm serenity of bliss
And purposes of good
Prompt no extravagance of praise,
To voice the gratitude
For that ennoblement that is
Too great for words to tell ;
And boon and fitting thanks are both
Best told by living well.
OTHOU who bravely up the path
Which frequent thorn of trouble hath,
Steadfast didst try,
If upward still thy courage climb
Thy patience shall attain in time
The summit of the height sublime
From which thine eye,
Unhindered by dense airs that blow
To cloud morass of doubt below,
Shall see fair ground
Beyond the waters flowing cold,
A country which doth richness hold
Excelling that the men of old
At Eshcol found.
Sometime in exaltation spent
Shall intervene ere thy descent
At beck of sprite
Whose barge shall bear thee o'er the tide
To land thy vision hath descried —
Nor shalt thou always there abide,
Nor wish thou might.
For, far from false and with the true,
Thy youth renewed and vision new,
Thou soon shalt be,
To learn from features of that shore
That they but prophesy of more
And bid thine enterprise explore
New continent, and seas, and isles,
Whereon such radiant solstice smiles
To cheer thy gaze
That thou shalt think the brightest beams
The former gave but faded gleams
Of sunshine of forgotten dreams
Of other days !
That land attained, thy study there
Shall thee for further quest prepare,
2 26 FORECASTING.
That shall allure ;
And faring on, what thou shalt find
Thy broadened and still growing mind
Shall solve, assimilate and bind,
And make secure.
And it shall rare nutrition be,
And spur, and stimulant, for thee,
To aid thy will,
That shall increase with thy desire.
To this new good thou mayst aspire
And mayst attain, to find yet higher,
To beckon still !
Inspiring faith that paints the scene —
A heaven of hills and valleys green,
With songsters bright
That sing responses to the call
Of mellow murmuring waterfall ;
And blue, benignant over all,
A sky of light,
Whose language is not only peace,
But that which teaches an increase
Of all that's heaven,
In such gradations evermore
As thou shalt inward from that shore
The country of the blest explore,
With blessing given.
And, scanning copse and forest belt
That through the years of heaven have felt
The zephyrs' joy
That sweeps the flower-scented plains
Of that good land whose bliss explains
Thine earthly lot, thou'lt hear the strains
That airs, and birds, and rivers sing,
To make the elysian valleys ring
The ages through.
And angels of the loftiest lyre,
In joy that thou shouldst so aspire,
Shall wake the strings to noblest fire
They ever knew.
O grandeur of the land that lies
Away somewhere beyond the skies,
Beyond earth's dream —
How far beyond the visible
Imagination cannot tell,
Howe'er intensely it may dwell
Upon the theme !
Thou shalt have sail for broadest seas
And time to solve all mysteries
Thy search hath spied.
Whatever thine ambition be
Thou shalt no limitation see
Thy time is all eternity ;
Thy scope as wide !
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